Make this page my home page
  1. Drag the home icon in this panel and drop it onto the "house icon" in the tool bar for the browser

  2. Select "Yes" from the popup window and you're done!

Home > Topics > Medical / Clinical
December 10, 2013

Boy with asthma dies after school confiscates inhaler

His mother said the school wouldn’t allow her son to carry his own inhaler, and confiscated it on several occasions when he tried to use it

CANADA — A mother in Straffordville, southwest of Tillsonburg, is fighting to have students allowed to carry asthma inhalers with them in case of emergency.

But in Waterloo Region, it’s not clear if Sandra Gibbons’ campaign will change anything about how schools handle puffers. Gibbons’ son, 12-year-old Ryan Gibbons, died in 2012 when he suffered a severe asthma attack during recess. He had told his friends he wasn’t feeling well, and was being carried into the office of the school’s principal – where his inhaler was under lock and key.

Sandra Gibbons says the school wouldn’t allow her son to carry his own inhaler, and confiscated several on occasions he tried to do so.

Full story: Some Waterloo Region students allowed to carry asthma puffers

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of or its staff. If you cannot see comments, try disabling privacy and ad blocking plugins in your browser. All comments must comply with our Member Commenting Policy.
Bambi Morgan Bambi Morgan Tuesday, December 10, 2013 6:02:56 PM When my son used an inhaler, I told him to keep it with him at all times. If the school had a problem with it, then they could deal with me. I believe there are some children s medications that the school needs to lock up and administer when needed, however inhalers and epi-pens are not something that needs to be kept it. However, it does need to be demonstrated that the child knows how to use them properly. Kids are smarter than you think.
John Lucas John Lucas Tuesday, December 10, 2013 7:11:33 PM In the United States, there is federal law allowing children with Asthma to carry their Metered Dose Inhalers with them. The reality is, many school districts do not follow this law or are simply not educated to allow the students to do so. The difference between allowing a child to carry their inhaler and being escorted to the nurses office for a "puffer" could result in Respiratory Arrest. More educatuon is required among the public and especially the schools to prevent unnecessary deaths.
Kelly Linder Kelly Linder Tuesday, December 10, 2013 7:14:54 PM Really cause Ventolin should not be an issue to carry with you if you have asthma! Speaking as an Advanced Care Paramedic. The school board should be sued and fired for not allowing students the ability to carry potential life saving medications on them. What if a child carried a be sting kit while out side playing do to an anaphylaxis shock.
Ŧ Rob Marshall Ŧ Ŧ Rob Marshall Ŧ Tuesday, December 10, 2013 7:29:56 PM This school just created a MAJOR lawsuit for themselves.
Jeremy Markham Jeremy Markham Tuesday, December 10, 2013 8:30:03 PM This is the most ridiculous thing I have read in a while. What BS and completely unacceptable. Everyone on that board should be fired for stupidity. This story really bothers me. >:-(
Mike Ledgerwood Mike Ledgerwood Wednesday, December 11, 2013 12:34:51 AM This is a tough case all around. I can see (and agree with) kids carrying their own inhaler. However, I remember when I was in elementary school, kids would pass their inhaler's around like candy. So I can see why the school would want to limit access. I have seen schools where the playground monitor carries a small pelican case with all the medications in it. That way students had access to it if needed but it wasn't being abused or lost.
Thomas Hourican Thomas Hourican Wednesday, December 11, 2013 5:04:22 AM I've told my daughter to hide hers as best as she can. You need to act quickly when an attack comes on.
Cj Ewell Cj Ewell Wednesday, December 11, 2013 9:25:19 AM The results of a ridiculous policy. That being said, it is important to understand that a serious asthma attack does not happen suddenly. Peak flow readings will be falling for at least a day before the attack. Good management at home in conjunction with good medical care can prevent this kind of tragedy. Anyone with serious asthma should check peak flow regularly at home. Noticeable decreases (into ranges determined by your healthcare provider) should be a signal to increase medications or go for an office visit or ER visit.
Paul Russell Sr Paul Russell Sr Thursday, December 12, 2013 4:18:07 PM The parents need to sue the pants off the school.
Sandra Gibbons Sandra Gibbons Monday, December 16, 2013 2:56:15 PM The only problem with a teacher having it on the yard is??? if the student can't locate where they are when in need for their inhaler then they are in the same situation of havng to run around trying to find the teacher, The teachers are not stationed in one spot the whole time so if the teacher is behind something where the student doesn't have an easy view don't make it any better than having to walk to the office while in distress. imagine walking with a clothes pin on your nose and a straw in your mouth and looking for a teacher or walking to the if the child has the inhaler while outside makes the most emergency situation make sense and while in the classroom put it in a secure accessible location for easy access.
Zach Smith Zach Smith Tuesday, December 17, 2013 8:16:12 AM Simply disgusting

EMS1 Offers

We Recommend...

Connect with EMS1

Mobile Apps Facebook Twitter Google+

Get the #1 EMS eNewsletter

Fire Newsletter Sign up for our FREE email roundup of the top news, tips, columns, videos and more, sent 3 times weekly
Enter Email
See Sample

Online Campus Both

Medical / Clinical Videos