Asthma Relief: "Ryan's Law" Passes in Wake of Child's Death

Asthmatic Students Now Protected

by: Alex Thom

In 2012, 12 year-old Ryan Gibbons died of an asthma attack while at his Ontario school. His rescue inhaler was in the school's office - too far to save his life. Ryan's mother Sandra Gibbons made it her mission to make sure this tragedy happened to no other students by starting a petition asking the government to force schools to create asthma management plans that would include allowing them to carry their needed inhalers on them.

RELATED: When is a Cough Not Just a Cough?

Ryan's Law has passed, mandating that all schools have effective asthma management plans that allow students to carry their life-saving medications on them at all times.

Asthma plans will also include (taken from the Law itself):

1. Strategies that reduce the risk of exposure to asthma triggers in classrooms and common school areas and during field trips.

2. A communication plan for the dissemination of information on asthma to parents, pupils and employees.

3. Regular training on recognizing and managing asthma for all employees and others who are in direct contact with pupils on a regular basis.

4. A requirement that every school principal develop and individual plan for each pupil who has asthma (with input from the child's physician).

5. A requirement that every school permit a pupil to carry his or her asthma medication if the pupil has his or her parents' or guardians' permission and his or her physicians's approval to do so.

6. A requirement that every school principal ensure that, upon registration, parents, guardians and pupils shall be asked to supply information about asthma, including whether a pupil has his or her parents' or guardians' permission and his or her physician's approval to carry asthma medication.

7. A requirement that every school principal maintain a file of current treatment and other information for each pupil with asthma, including a copy of any notes and instructions from the pupil's physician and a current emergency contact list.

This is amazing news! So much safer for students with asthma - there is no use in having emergency medications unavailable during emergencies. With a newly diagnosed asthmatic child, this makes me feel a lot better. Other provinces vary in their regulations of where inhalers are kept.

Now, we need to work on getting each school to allow students to wear emergency epinephrine auto-injectors, too.