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August 16, 2001

Governor Signs Bill Allowing School Children to Self-Administer Asthma Medications

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today signed SB979 amending the School Code to require a school--public or nonpublic--to permit the self-administration by a student of prescribed asthma medication. The bill requires that the parents or guardians of the student provide the school with written authorization for the self-administration and a written statement from the student's physician, physician assistant or advanced practice registered nurse.

"The swift administration of prescribed asthma medication can be the difference between a mild attack and the onset of an attack with devastating consequences," Governor Ryan said. "This law will allow students to use an inhaler in a timely manner and prevent a potential tragedy while also safeguarding the children of this state."

The legislation was prompted by the death of a student in Chicago several years ago from an asthma attack that occurred when she was unable to use her inhaler quickly. Since that time, Chicago Public Schools has been running a self-administration pilot that has been successful.

The bill was sponsored in the Senate by Kathleen Parker (R-Northbrook), Christine Radogno (R-LaGrange), Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood), Adeline Geo-Karis (R-Zion) and in the House by Representatives Mary Kay O'Brien (D-Coal City), William Black (R-Danville), Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and Monique Davis (D-Chicago).


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