What Is Stock Albuterol?
Well, this has to be the weirdest back-to-school I have ever seen.
Normally, stores are packed with happy parents (and gloomy kids) stocking up on back to school supplies. That usually means pens and pencils, backpacks, glue sticks, and locker decorations. This year, parents are shopping for tablets, laptops, and desks. And updating their router or trying to get a mobile hot spot that some schools are providing.
Schools are trying to figure out what to do, too! Hold in-person classes 5 days a week? Split the class and have them come twice a week? Roll the dice and start in person and then switch to online when outbreaks start? Or just have online schools this year?
If parents and teachers didn't have enough to worry about this year, what happens when you have a kid with a chronic disease like asthma?
Preparing my kids for school
Before school would start, I would always meet with School Nurse and my kids' teachers. With a long history of hospitalizations for my kids, sending them off to school was always a big worry.
School Nurse would send an asthma action plan home for each of my kids. My job was to make sure that it was filled out and signed by Asthma Doc. Our asthma action plan also had a self-administration form on the other side. That allows the child to carry their inhaler with them at ALL times - IF the permission form was filled out and signed by Asthma Doc, parent/guardian, and the school nurse.
**Some kids may not be old enough to recognize an asthma attack and use their inhaler by themselves. The parent/guardian can review the Student Readiness Tool to decide if they are ready1**
Can kids carry their inhaler at school?
Wondering if your state allows students to carry their inhaler with them? Instead of keeping it locked up in the nurse's office or teacher's desk?
All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws that allow students to carry and self-administer their inhaler! (But - parents or guardians will have to sign a new form each year.)2
What if your child loses their inhaler? Or forgets to put it in their backpack? Ever try to fish around in a purse, backpack, or sports bag for an inhaler? Those things are tiny - and they're always at the bottom!
Enter stock albuterol!
What is stock albuterol? Stock albuterol means a state has a law on the books that allows schools to "stock" or keep a rescue/reliever (albuterol) inhaler in the school. As of this writing, there are 14 states in the U.S. that have stock albuterol laws on the books.2
Does that mean ANYONE in the school can use the inhaler?
In our state, they have to:3
- Have an asthma diagnosis
- Have an asthma action plan on file
- Be showing signs of an asthma emergency
If so, they can use the stock albuterol inhaler in the front office (if they can't find theirs). Not that any of my kids have ever lost an inhaler...
All 50 states also have laws allowing schools to stock epinephrine!4 It can help prevent a tragedy from happening if a student has a sudden allergic reaction to a food. Did you know that many of us with asthma also have seasonal allergies, but can also have food allergies?
These laws allow a student to be double protected. Check and see if your school stocks epinephrine and albuterol inhalers.
It could save a life!
Have you or your child needed to use stock albuterol at school? Share in the comments below!
Have asthma inhalers affected your dental health?