Encourage Asthma Management in Schools!

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     According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 9.6 percent of children between the ages of five and 11 years old, and 10.0 percent of children between the ages of 12 and 17, have asthma. Further, 47.5 percent of children under 18 with asthma have reported having one or more asthma attacks. Even more concerning is that 80% of children under 10 who have had an asthma-related death had an intervention that could have prevented their death. As these statistics show, asthma and other reversible lower airway disorders impact a significant percentage of school-aged children, and these students deserve to pursue their studies without fear that an attack at school won’t be properly treated.

     The School-Based Respiratory Health Management Act will revise the conditions under which the Department of health and Human Services gives preferences when awarding grants for asthma and allergy disorders by giving an increased preference to states that require school-based reversible lower airways disorder management programs. With the implementation of H.R. 2285, states that have at least one trained individual on the premises during operating hours who can administer rescue medications for allergies and reversible airway disorders and also have an allergy and reversible lower airway disorders management program would receive preference for these grants. This will encourage states to help ensure students with reversible lower airway disorders such as asthma, will have assistance at school with managing their disease and symptoms. By implementing this legislation, schools will be able to create long-term asthma management plans and ensure that students with asthma have quick, reliable access to medication.

     As both an asthmatic and a registered respiratory therapist, I urge you to support this bill and give asthmatic children the opportunity to go to school without fear and allow them to learn without limitations. No child should have to be concerned that an asthma attack at school will be poorly managed and result in a medical emergency. By encouraging schools to put action plans in place and train personnel to administer life-saving drugs when necessary, the School-Based Respiratory Health Management Act will benefit parents, students, teachers, and school administrators across the country. This bill is currently sitting in the Subcommittee on Health and it needs your support to move forward. Please consider supporting H.R. 2285 and give these children the freedom to breathe!

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