Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Let Kids Carry Asthma Inhalers at School

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Let Kids Carry Asthma Inhalers at School

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Let kids carry asthma inhalers at school

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An editorial from the Toronto Star, published Dec. 8:

Out of needless tragedy comes change. Hopefully.

As the Star's Richard Brennan reports, 12-year-old Ryan Gibbons died at school last year after he suffered an extreme asthma attack while his inhaler was locked in the office. His school, located in the village of Straffordville in southwestern Ontario, had a policy that forbade students from carrying the corticosteroids puffer that makes breathing easy.

It was Oct. 9, 2012, when Ryan felt ill while playing soccer. He made it into the school but blacked out and had to be carried into the office. No one could get to the inhaler in time and Ryan died. That's just heartbreaking.

Now, inspired by the advocacy work of Ryan's mother, Sandra, Progressive Conservative MPP Jeff Yurek is pushing Ryan's Law, a private member's bill that calls for streamlined province-wide asthma policies so that future tragedies can be avoided.

It appears the problem lies with board policies that manage all medications brought into schools without making exceptions for the benign inhalers that cause no harm. That really must change.

It's unfortunate that boards don't follow common-sense procedures without the need for legislative intervention. …

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