the Government is changing the law on allowing spare emergency inhalers in schools

Historic change in law to keep children with asthma safe in schools comes into force today

Author: Asthma UK

Date: OCT 2014

the Government is changing the law on allowing spare emergency inhalers in schoolsFollowing a long fought campaign by Asthma UK, the Government is changing the law on allowing spare emergency inhalers in schools. As of today – when the law comes into force across the UK - children will be able to access a spare emergency inhaler when having a potentially life-threatening asthma attack.

There are over 1 million children with asthma in the UK and every two minutes a child has an asthma attack. Previous research by Asthma UK highlighted that 86% of children had been without their own inhaler because it was lost, forgotten, broken or had run out. That could mean that more than 900,000 children would benefit from this change in the law as they will now have access to a spare emergency inhaler. Previous legislation meant that it was illegal for schools to hold a spare emergency inhaler in their first aid kits; even though exemptions existed for organisations like the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and the armed forces.

The charity has been campaigning on this issue for four years and in May 2014 over 6,500 people responded to the public consultation urging the Government to change the law.

Kay Boycott, Chief Executive of Asthma UK said: “Asthma kills the equivalent of a classroom of children every year in the UK and every single day 84 children admitted to hospital for emergency treatment for asthma. This change in the law will undoubtedly be a huge relief to millions of parents across the UK so we are delighted the Government has made this historic commitment to keeping children with asthma safe at school.”

Kay adds, “It is absolutely vital that every child with asthma has an asthma action plan. These help parents to understand their child’s symptoms, how to know if their child’s asthma is getting worse and what they need to do about it. Children who don’t have an action plan are four times more likely to need to go to hospital for their asthma – you can download a plan from

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Last revised: 27 November 2017

Next review: 27 November 2020