KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College, and Maricopa Community Colleges
Privacy Policy | FCC Public File | Contest Rules
Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Arizona Schools Will Soon Be Allowed To Administer Asthma Inhalers

asthma inhaler
(Photo by Stina Sieg - KJZZ)
It's long been verbotten for Arizona schools to stock and administer asthma medication, but that's changing this summer.

Public schools in Arizona are not allowed to have inhalers on-hand to treat students experiencing an asthma attack. But that’s about to change.

Starting this summer, every public school will be able to stock and administer asthma medication. Dr. Lynn Gerald, who is a professor at the University of Arizona and is with the Asthma and Airways Disease Research Center, applauds the new law – recently signed by Gov. Doug Ducey.

Right now, if a child forgets her inhaler at home or can’t afford one and gets an asthma attack at school, “the only choice a school has is to call 911 or call a parent to try to bring the medication,” Gerald said, “but if a child is administered the medication, they can usually take two to four puffs of the medication and return right back to class.”

Gerald said around 10 percent of children in the state have asthma, and only a small percentage of them has an inhaler at school.

She said this new law doesn’t provide funding for inhalers, but all Pima County public school students will soon have the medication available to them.

That’s because Banner University Medical Center has agreed to donate the inhalers in every school in the county.   

Gerald said that after a pilot program brought inhalers into some Pima County schools, they were able to reduce medical transports by 40 percent.

When senior field correspondent Stina Sieg was 22, she moved to the desert. She hasn’t been the same since. At the time, the Northern California native had just graduated from college and was hankering for wide-open spaces. So she took a leap and wrote to nearly every newspaper in New Mexico until one offered her a job. That’s how she became the photographer for a daily paper in the small town of Silver City. And that’s when she realized how much she loved storytelling. In the years since, the beauty of having people open up and share their stories — and trust her to tell them — has never gotten old to Sieg. Before coming to KJZZ, Sieg was also a writer and photographer at newspapers in Glenwood Springs, Colorado; Moab, Utah; and the Smoky Mountains town of Waynesville, North Carolina. She always had her hand in public radio, too, including hosting Morning Edition on a fill-in basis at WNCW in North Carolina. It’s still the best music station she’s found. When she’s not reporting, chances are Sieg is running, baking, knitting or driving to some far-flung town deep in the desert — just to see what it looks like.