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Using Inhalers for Asthma at School

A Law Permitting the Use of Prescribed Medications for Asthma/Allergies at School

Michigan Compiled Law 380.1179

Michigan public and nonpublic school children, under certain conditions, are allowed by law to carry and self-administer prescribed asthma and allergy medications on school grounds and during school-sponsored activities. This legislation (2000, 2004)amended the Michigan School Code to ensure that students with asthma and allergies have immediate access to life-saving medications. Specifically, the law does the following:

  • Permits a student to possess and use a metered dose inhaler or dry powder inhaler to alleviate asthma symptoms, or before exercise to prevent the onset of these symptoms at school or school sponsored activities and programs (e.g., school sponsored transportation; activities, events, or programs in which the student’s school is participating). As of 2004, a student may carry an epinephrine auto-injector or epinephrine inhaler to treat anaphylaxis.
  • In order for the student to possess and use their inhaler, the following conditions must be met:


    1. The student must have written permission to possess and use their inhaler/epi medications from his or her physician or other health care provider authorized to prescribe an inhaler;
    2. If the student is a minor (under the age of 18), they must also have permission from his or her parent or legal guardian to possess and use their inhaler/epi medications; and
    3. The principal or chief administrator at the school must have received a copy of each written approval for the student.


  • A school district may request that a student's parent or legal guardian to provide an extra inhaler/epi medication to designated school personnel in case of an emergency, but a parent or legal guardian is not required to provide an extra inhaler/epi medication.
  • The principal or chief administrator of the school must notify each of the student’s teachers that the student possess an inhaler/epi medication and the provision of the law allowing them to do so.
  • Under the law, school personnel (including the school district, nonpublic school, member of a school board, director or officer of a nonpublic school, or employee of a school district or nonpublic school) are NOT liable for any damages resulting from permitting a student to use, or prohibiting a student from using, an inhaler/epi medication if an employee has a reasonable belief formed after a reasonable and ordinary inquiry that the bill’s conditions have, or have not been met.

    (The law specifies that these provisions do not eliminate, limit, or reduce any other immunity or defense that a school district, nonpublic school, or school employee may have under other State law or the Code’s prevision exempting certain school personnel from civil or criminal liability for administering medication to a student—Michigan Compiled Law 380.1179)
  • Access a pdf of the actual law.