In 2002, Allergy & Asthma Network held an Asthma Awareness Day Capitol Hill field hearing about the plight of schoolchildren whose asthma medications were locked in the clinic instead of by their side at all time as prescribed by their physicians. Tragically, each school year there were reports of students who did not receive medication in time. They died. The same was true of students with anaphylaxis and their access to prescribed auto-injectable epinephrine.
As a result of those hearings, members of Congress joined with AANMA and advocates across the country to pass the Asthmatic Schoolchildren’s Treatment and Health Management Act of 2004 (first introduced in the House of Representatives in 2003 as HR2023). Signed into law in October 2004, this groundbreaking legislation gave funding preference to states that protect student’s rights to carry and self-administer asthma and anaphylaxis medications at school.
Today, all 50 states have laws protecting students’ rights to carry and use prescribed asthma and anaphylaxis medications.
Breathe: It’s the Law
Allergy & Asthma Network’s Breathe: It’s the Law awareness campaign doesn’t stop once these laws are on the books. Parents, teachers, school nurses — YOU can contact local schools and make sure they know these laws exist and what they mean. Here’s an FAQ sheet to share with your child’s teachers, school nurse, P.E. teacher and coaches. We’re grateful to legislators for helping us get these laws passed — now it’s time to save lives!
What is Breathe: It’s the Law?
A campaign to make sure students in EVERY state can carry and self-administer their life-saving asthma and anaphylaxis medications. Allergy & Asthma Network spearheaded this campaign with support from volunteers and legislators in every state.
Why is it important?
Every school year students have died because they were unable to get to their asthma or anaphylaxis medications on time. The medications were locked in a nurse’s cabinet or stowed away in a place too far to get to when the student needed them. Minutes count when asthma or anaphylaxis strikes. Students need to carry these medications on them, know when and how to use them — and then do it!
Do we have these laws in every state?
In 2010 we celebrated that all 50 states protect students’ rights to carry and self-administer asthma medications, and in 2014 New York became the 50th state giving students the right to carry and use their anaphylaxis medications.
I live in a state that has passed these laws — how can I make sure my school knows about the laws and allows students to carry and use their medications?
Visit your school and hand them this fact sheet! Bring copies for the principal and school nurse, a few extra for other teachers. They can visit www.aanma.org/advocacy/meds-at-school and click on their state to read exactly what the law is.
The Breathe: It’s the Law campaign was sponsored by Mylan Specialty L.P.
In 2014, New York became the 50th state to pass a law guaranteeing students the right to carry their prescribed anaphylaxis medication at school. This final step was 11 years in the making, as shown in this 2012 map:
|States that protect student rights to possess and self-administer prescribed lifesaving asthma and anaphylaxis medications.|
|States that protect student rights to possess and self-administer prescribed lifesaving asthma medications.|
|States that protect student rights to possess and self-administer prescribed lifesaving asthma medications and have pending legislation also allowing anaphylaxis medications.|
|States that have pending legislation.|
|States that do not protect student rights to possess and self-administer prescribed lifesaving asthma and/or anaphylaxis medications|
Links to State Laws
[top of page]
Information presented on this page is collected, maintained and provided for the convenience of the user. While every effort is made to ensure that such information is accurate and up-to-date, Allergy & Asthma Network does not make any warranty, express or implied, or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any information on this page.