Warning, This Could Be Hazardous To Your Child’s Health…


The outrage of the day today comes from Florida, where a school nurse in Deltona, Florida watched a 17-year-old student pass out from an asthma attack rather than give him his inhaler. Why? Because school officials said they didn’t have the proper paper work to administer the life-saving medicine.

The nurse apparently didn’t even call 911, but did notify the boy’s mother. When she arrived at the school, he was collapsing against a wall in the throes of a full-blown asthma attack. The boy was quoted as saying “I believe that when I closed my eyes I wasn’t going to wake up.” He was terrified.

School districts around the country have strict rules about administering medicine to their students. Often, a school nurse can’t even give a child a Tylenol without the proper paperwork on file. The rules were enacted with good intentions, but they left no room for common sense. This boy could have died while his inhaler was within reach.

But now consider this: In states where underage girls can have abortions without parental consent or notification, it is often a school nurse or guidance counselor who will help her kill her unborn child.

In 2010, a 15-year-old girl in Seattle took a pregnancy test at her high school’s health center. When it was confirmed that she was pregnant, the school issued her a pass and called a taxi to take her to an abortion clinic. This was 100 percent legal under Washington State law. In fact, Washington is one of seven states where minors don’t have to notify or get permission from their parents.  The other states are Oregon, Hawaii, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. Parental involvement is also not required in Washington, D.C. There are probably thousands of stories like this one, but the Seattle story made news because the girl’s outraged mother found out.

This dichotomy is a shocking example of our skewed priorities in this country. We’ll help a student who is probably scared and feels like she has no options to have an abortion – which may kill or injure her or fill her with regret for the rest of her life – but we won’t help a student who is fighting for his last breath.

Where’s the common sense?

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One Response to “Warning, This Could Be Hazardous To Your Child’s Health…”

  1. I am a school nurse and I am outraged by this story. I cannot imagine doing what this person did. I cannot imagine why NO ONE in the building called 911, we teach kindergarteners to do this in an emergency. Thank God the child is okay. I believe that there may be some facts missing form this story, however. This person may not have been a actual nurse. Many states and school districts do not believe licensed and trained school nurses are impotant enough to have in every school building so buildings are staffed by some form of “helper”. The National Association of School Nurses recommends a ratio of one school nurse to 750 students who do not require special medical attention, a lower ratio if special medical attention in required. It will be interesting to see how that figures into this story as all of the facts come out. In my school, where I am well within this “safe” ratio with time to care for my students in my building and cover everything I need to, I have standing orders from my school physician that cover me to administer emergency asthma and allergy medications to anyone in the building who would require it. The catch being that I, the actual school nurse, need to be there to assess the patient and administer the medication myself. I recommend every parent find out what the practice is in their child’s school and if it is not within this safe ratio, advocate for your children until it is.

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