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Congress considering stocking albuterol in schools

A new bill would allow administrators to give students albuterol if necessary


Albuterol is a common medication prescribed to asthma patients. Congress is discussing a plan to make it commonly available in schools for use in case of an asthma attack.

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VIENNA, Va. — With millions of children heading back to school this month and in September, it’s important that albuterol inhalers are available to provide emergency relief to students experiencing an asthma attack.

Schoolchildren with asthma have had the right to self-carry and self-administer their albuterol inhalers at school since legislation was passed in 2004, but what happens if their inhaler is left at home or lost during the school day?

Pending legislation in Congress – the School-Based Asthma Management Program Act (H.R. 4662) would give federal funding preference to states that encourage schools to stock albuterol inhalers.

The bill would also allow trained school personnel to administer the inhaler when necessary, and implement school-based asthma management programs to ensure a safe and healthy learning environment for children with asthma.

Asthma is a significant health concern in the United States, with 6.3 million children diagnosed with the condition, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Asthma flares should be treated at the first sign of symptoms – any delay increases the risk for hospitalization,” said Tonya Winders, President and CEO of Allergy & Asthma Network. “By ensuring schools have emergency supplies of stock albuterol on site, we can keep all children with asthma safe.”