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AIBU or is this head teacher

(78 Posts)
fairyofallthings Sat 07-Oct-17 08:26:24

I spoke to the head teacher at my DC's school the other day, the school don't keep a spare inhaler in case of emergencies as the children are expected to give a spare to the office. So far, so good - I accept that is a good idea.

However, I spoke to her about the school keeping a spare inhaler in the office just in case an inhaler doesn't work for some reason and she said she didn't think that it was an important issue and that there were more important things to worry about. I don't think she's taking asthma seriously and she really needs to. I am considering a letter to the governors but AIBU to do that?

waitingforlifetostart Sat 07-Oct-17 08:40:58

What were her words because I doubt any school would say access to an inhaler isn't important.

araiwa Sat 07-Oct-17 08:53:23

I think students bringing their own inhaler and them having another spare at school is more than sufficient

Allthewaves Sat 07-Oct-17 08:59:29

So you do child will have an inhaler, then a spare in the office and you want office to have another spare - it is a bit overkill

Allthewaves Sat 07-Oct-17 09:00:22

If your that concerned, check dc inhaler every morning that it's full and working.

FritataPatate Sat 07-Oct-17 09:01:30

Might be tricky for the school to get hold of one? Don't you need a prescription? One inhaler plus one spare per asthma sufferer seems adequate to me.

Anasnake Sat 07-Oct-17 09:03:17

So child has an inhaler, plus a spare in the office and you want a spare for the spare ?

Crumbs1 Sat 07-Oct-17 09:04:14

Yes parental or child's responsibility to provide inhalers that are full and working.
What if the spare, spare wasn't working either - it could go on ad infinitum.
Schools are there to provide education and that should remain their focus.

snotato Sat 07-Oct-17 09:04:31

I think they need to cover themselves.perhaps they could get into trouble for giving a child a medicine that wasn't prescribed for them.
There are different types of inhalers,so perhaps what works for one wouldn't work for another.
I believe a child having their own inhaler and the office having a spare for each child should be enough.
Perhaps just have a word with the school to check they are checking the inhalers they carry aren't running out every week or so?

schoolgaterebel Sat 07-Oct-17 09:07:22


You need to provide prescribed inhaler for your child (and a spare if you feel it’s necessary) its not the schools responsibility to provide extra inhalers, they do have bigger worries.

Theoistfit Sat 07-Oct-17 09:09:16

From my first aid training years ago, my understanding is that it's illegal for the school to give inhalers to a child it wasn't presscribed for. You can with epipens though.

LaContessaDiPlump Sat 07-Oct-17 09:10:39

They have bigger worries than a child dying due to an asthma attack?

Even mild asthma can be fatal, you know. I've worked in this area of medicine for a while and there are some tragic stories.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 07-Oct-17 09:12:37

Where does the spare come from?

You're not suggesting a shared school inhaler are you? Because if you were I would not think you were taking asthma seriously. An inhaler is not like Calpol - it's prescription medicine.

If you mean a second inhaler prescribed per child I agree with the Head.

sparepantsandtoothbrush Sat 07-Oct-17 09:13:19

Where are they supposed to get this spare inhaler from exactly??

WeAllHaveWings Sat 07-Oct-17 09:14:35

Do you take 3 inhalers, one to use, one spare and an extra spare where ever you go?

SavoyCabbage Sat 07-Oct-17 09:15:05

I absolutely think this should be the parents responsibility rather than the school.

My dd is anaphylactic and I provide the school with an epipen to be kept in the office as well as the one she carries herself. It's up to me then to make sure it's not out of date. Which is what I want as I don't want my child dying because someone at school forgot to buy a new epipen.

Nor do I want to be checking the school has bought a new epipen when that one has expired or when it's been used on someone else.

And I can imagine people thinking that they don't need to bother sending in medication because the school has it covered.

I also think it's good for the child that they see that this is something they are responsible for. My dd is thirteen now and so goes out with her friends, taking her epipen with her. She has grown up with us checdates on pens and replacing them and sending them to school. I don't want her thinking she doesn't have to take it as the school she goes to for netball might have one or there might be one in the back office at Nandos.

ASauvignonADay Sat 07-Oct-17 09:15:09

We do have spare inhalers and spacers, but we only found out recently that we could do so.

I’d say the HT isn’t the person to ask about this. They will have more important and serious things to deal with.

Wolfiefan Sat 07-Oct-17 09:17:10

If children need an inhaler then one should be kept at school for them. You seem to be suggesting a shared spare. 1. Sharing an inhaler? Yeuck! 2. Where will the prescription come from for this prescription only drug? 3. Not all kids use the same drug or dose.

SpiderWilly Sat 07-Oct-17 09:17:15

If you want a spare spare inhaler then hand one into the office, job done. All inhalers are normally kept in the child's class in schools I'm in as it's a bit stupid keeping them in the office if a child needs them urgently. Why did you not speak with the office staff or teacher about this instead of the HT? It's a situation that could have been easily resolved.

PickledPeppermint Sat 07-Oct-17 09:19:18

I'm a pharmacist. A few years ago the law changed which allowed headteachers to obtain a supply of salbutamol inhalers to keep at school for emergency use by children with asthma. The headteacher needs to write an order for the inhalers which can then be dispensed by a pharmacy, although there is a small charge.

Guidance here:

irvineoneohone Sat 07-Oct-17 09:20:51

My ds keeps his inhaler and epipen at office and classroom.I have one/2 epipens in my bag.
I think that is enough.
I don't think school have to keep one in case the one meant for child doesn't work. That's parent's job to check. And We are asked to check expirely date etc. by ourselves and give them the new one when needed.
It works fine for us, without creating more work for already busy school staff.

HughGrantsHair Sat 07-Oct-17 09:21:50

What Pickledpeppermint said.

They can have a spare inhaler in school now and it's only sensible surely.

BurnTheBlackSuit Sat 07-Oct-17 09:22:52

I've had asthma for 30 years and I've never had an inhaler not work (that hadn't run out). So there is no need for a spare for the spare! If an inhaler 'isn't working', it is because the attack is serious and more powerful medication than the inhaler is required.

Fibbertigibbet Sat 07-Oct-17 09:23:16

The school should have one spare inhaler and spacer for each child who needs one (the spacer is really important. Honestly as a healthcare professional I can tell you there is no point giving your child an inhaler with no spacer, especially if they actually need it). They cannot have an additional spare inhaler for kids who are not prescribed an inhaler and then become wheezy- it is a prescription drug and, even though the dose of the blue inhaler is the same regardless, the school cannot give it.

viques Sat 07-Oct-17 09:23:35

Do inhalers often fail to function? If your child has two in school then unlikely that both will fail at the same time. Perhaps you think the school should set up a mini pharmacy to cover all eventualities? Some insulin for children who might slip into a diabetic coma, epi pens for allergic shock, inhalers for asthma..... Of course, the school would then have to send a member of staff on some pretty extensive training, is it 6 years for a doctor, before they would be competent enough to prescribe the use of controlled medication to children whose medical history they are unfamiliar with.

You need to make sure your child's medication is up to date, and that they know how to use their inhaler effectively, not rely on medically untrained TEACHING professionals to monitor your child's inhalers.

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