Inhalers in schools

After almost four years of campaigning, the law changed in October 2014 to help keep children with asthma safe. Schools are now allowed to hold spare emergency inhalers (usually blue).

We know that 86% of children have been without their own inhaler because it was lost, forgotten, broken or had run out.

Previously it was illegal for schools to have a spare emergency inhaler to use in the event of a potentially life-threatening asthma attack, even though exemptions existed for organisations like the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the armed forces. Now schools are able to hold spare emergency inhalers if they choose to. Find out more about reliever inhalers.

Guidance for schools

For schools in England, the Department of Health issued guidance, setting out how schools should safely keep and administer spare emergency inhalers.

In Scotland, Asthma UK Scotland has been in contact with the Scottish Government on reviewing its guidance for schools on managing medicines. Were working to ensure appropriate information on spare emergency inhalers is provided to schools across Scotland.

In Wales,the Welsh Government issued guidance in October 2014 setting out how schools should safely keep and administer spare emergency inhalers. This information is also available in Welsh.

In Northern Ireland, guidance has been issued to all schools, allowing them to hold a supply of inhalers for emergency use.

In light of this change in the law, Education for Health is developing a free online educational resource to support anyone who works with children or young people with asthma.

Asthma UK wants to ensure that every child with asthma gets the basic care they need. If you have a child with asthma and they are 6-11, download a written asthma action plan for children or if they are 12 or up then download the adult version. It's essential you have one to understand your child's symptoms, how to use an inhaler properly, how to know if their asthma is getting worse, and what to do about it.

This fantastic news shows just what we can do when we campaign together.