Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) introduced HR 2285, the School-Based Respiratory Health Management Act, legislation that encourages states to help ensure students with reversible lower airway disorders, such as asthma, have assistance at school with managing their chronic disease and can excel in any environment.
“According to the CDC, asthma is a leading chronic illness among children and adolescents in the U.S. and is also one of the leading causes of school absenteeism,” said Whip Hoyer. “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. I thank my friend, Rep. Roe, for working with me to introduce this bill, and I urge Republican leaders to advance this bill quickly to ensure preparedness and peace of mind so that students are safe at school and can focus on learning.”
“I’m glad to introduce this important bill with my friend and colleague, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer,” said Congressman Roe. “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. 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 the fear that an attack at school won’t be properly treated. The School-Based Respiratory Health Management Act will help parents, students, teachers and school administrators have peace of mind and I look forward to working to get this bill passed.”
While the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services recommend that schools have comprehensive lower airway disorder management programs, most schools do not have such programs in place. The School-Based Respiratory Health Management Act would encourage states to implement these programs by giving priority in the children’s asthma treatment grants program to states which implement legislation to encourage schools to develop action plans and to permit trained personnel to administer life-saving drugs in an emergency, so that schools are better equipped to help students manage their disease.
This legislation is endorsed by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology; the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America; the Allergy and Asthma Network; and the National Association of School Nurses.