where do school keep your child's inhalers?

(81 Posts)
KatyPutTheCuttleOn Thu 26-Sep-13 22:22:44

If you have a child who needs an inhaler, where is kept?

To my mind it needs to be near the child at all times, however the school policy states that the inhalers are kept in a locked cupboard in the office. All staff have the key to the cupboard but if nobody is in the office then it is locked.

cece Thu 26-Sep-13 22:23:35

In the office here as are all the epipens and other medication.

orangina Thu 26-Sep-13 22:24:09

In the school office. Cupboard not locked. When ds was in reception (a different but adjacent building from the main school), then it was kept in the classroom.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 26-Sep-13 22:25:00

They should be kept in the child's school bag or tray on his desk.

Sirzy Thu 26-Sep-13 22:25:33

DS has his inhaler kept in the classroom. I would kick up a fuss if they tried to do anything else because not being able to get him it immediately could be very dangerous

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 26-Sep-13 22:25:59

Dd doesn't need one any more but I used to put it in he bookbag when she was in reception class

hazeyjane Thu 26-Sep-13 22:26:25

Dd2 has one in her bag, and one that is kept in the teachers desk (she is 6)

SavoyCabbage Thu 26-Sep-13 22:26:39

Ours are all kept in the classrooms. In a drawer in the filing cabinet. There are plans in the office on the wall and on the classroom walls to show where they are.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 26-Sep-13 22:27:25

The risk to a child who accidentally takes another child's inhaler is so minimal (they might get a bit hyper like they've eaten too much sugar) but the risk to a child not having their indoor can be great.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 26-Sep-13 22:28:04

I do agree its good for the teacher to have one as well in case the child can't find it.

TheBuskersDog Thu 26-Sep-13 22:32:30

Inhalers and epipens in an unlocked cupboard (out of reach of children) in the classroom.

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Thu 26-Sep-13 22:35:47

Thanks. We're looking at new schools at the moment and one of our two choices has the inhaler in the classroom with the child and allows one to be kept in the book bag. The other insists that it is locked in the office cupboard, I think that is a deal breaker for me.

Periwinkle007 Thu 26-Sep-13 22:39:55

I would expect it to be in the classroom somewhere - out of reach I guess but with very quick access. Epipens too!

out of curiosity what happens with them at breaktimes? some classrooms are a trek from the playground, that would be worth checking too.

BackforGood Thu 26-Sep-13 22:42:31

DEfinitely needs to be where the child is - in the classroom when they are, in the hall when doing PE, and a clear plan for what happens if they need it at dinner time, especially in those schools where the classroom can be locked.

BackforGood Thu 26-Sep-13 22:42:57

x-posted smile

but yes, same with epi-pens.

Dds is kept in the office. Luckily her asthma is much much better, but I am very torn between thinking that it should be with her at all times and knowing that if the teacher doesn't know she's had some as she self administers, then they may not know how much she's had already and if it's serious. Her asthma flared up a lot in reception though and I was a bit uneasy that she didn't have instant access.

BackforGood Thu 26-Sep-13 23:08:49

I would be asking schools who lock things in the offices, when all staff were last trained in care of pupils with asthma or for those needing epi-pens. There is NO WAY they should be a corridor's distance away, and possibly under a lock and key when the holder might not instantly be there shock

Inertia Thu 26-Sep-13 23:19:15

In the teacher's cupboard (not locked) in the child's classroom. Epipens are also kept in the classroom in the teacher's desk or cupboard, with a big sign up explaining where it is . Any cover or supply teacher or emergency responder needs rapid access to the correct medication.

Inhalers/ epipens are also taken by the person in charge when the child is out on a school trip, swimming lesson etc.

sydlexic Thu 26-Sep-13 23:23:58

On a high shelf in a box, with a photograph of the child on it, another in the office.

AbbyR1973 Thu 26-Sep-13 23:53:38

Epipens must be kept in close proximity to the child, because anaphylaxis is a condition in which the symptoms progress and become life- threatening in a matter of seconds to minutes.
It is extremely rare for asthma attacks to develop from no breathing difficulty to life-threatening asthma within a very short time scale. Very often such children are on 3 or more medications, have had previous intensive care admissions and previous history of attacks that have come on very rapidly. These children should clearly have reliever medication immediately available along with a clear asthma management plan.
The vast majority of children with asthma do not fit into this category fortunately and the decision as to where to keep the inhalers depends on the size and layout of the school. If the school has a small campus, with all areas within easy, quick access of the school office, this can be a safe and central place to locate the inhaler. If the school has a large campus the classroom may be more appropriate. The more important thing is that everyone knows where it is and when and how to use it.

Ihatespiders Fri 27-Sep-13 00:03:13

I've worked in several schools where medication is kept in a central location. While there may be a slight delay in getting hold of it (but no more than a minute or two tops), the major advantage is that, no matter where you are in the school, no matter which child you are with, or what lesson they are doing, you always know where their medication is.

Lunchtime, PE, ICT suite, supply teacher ... the medication is always in the designated cupboard.

SavoyCabbage Fri 27-Sep-13 00:12:01

That would be the same if they kept it in the classrooms though. Wherever you are in the school the medication is in the child's classroom.

My dd's school is big and they have a few lessons in other rooms. Music, art, library and Indonesian all have their own classrooms and PE is outside. She has an epipen in the classroom and there is a school one in the office.

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Fri 27-Sep-13 07:06:10

My son is one of the ones on 3 different asthma medications, I've seen him go from normal to blue lips and lying down not able to talk because of breathing problems in less than 2 minutes - which is why I think his inhaler needs to be with him.
I'm going to talk to both prospective schools about it.

Sirzy Fri 27-Sep-13 08:20:35

Abby - my aunts controlled on one inhaler type asthma killed her. Asthma is such an unpredictable thing it really isn't worth taking risks and inhalers should be to hand at all times.

My son has severe asthma, he is only 3 at the moment and at a pre school attached to the school but the staff know his inhalers need to go where he goes. That should be the standard for all inhalers - teachers (and when older children) should always be able to get to them in seconds, not waste time finding the staff member with the keys to the locked office - that could cost lives.

Katy - do talk to the schools and if needed get advice/letters from his consultant to back up what you are asking

MiaowTheCat Fri 27-Sep-13 08:23:14

Very top shelf in the classroom where I could just about reach it on tip toes.

Damn those with such newfangled luxuries as lockable filing cabinets!

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