Illinois law to put more inhalers in the hands of school nurses

LOVES PARK, Ill. (WIFR) -- One in eight Illinois children have asthma, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Now a new law may put the minds of parents at ease if their child has asthma.

"It kind of makes you feel like you're chest is enclosing, like everybody's staring at you, you just feel flustered," said Amanda Rigstad.

Amanda Rigstad's 9-year-old son developed asthma a little over three years ago. He's had to learn how to deal with the condition.

"When we first started having to bring an inhaler to school, they didn't allow him to carry it full-time on him. He would have to go to the nurse if he needed it. It was kindof a situation that I didn't really agree with," said Rigstad.

After getting permission from the doctor, Tristen was finally able to carry his inhaler with him at school.

"Being a parent with asthma as well, I know how it can get when you're having an asthma attack or you feel the shortness or breath, and how important it is to have something to help you," said Rigstad.

Senate Bill 3015, will put more inhalers into the hands of school nurses in case a student, like Tristen were to forget it or not be able to take to themselves.

"Similar to us carrying epipens and having epipens available to students who need those, so it sounds like these laws are just providing our trained staff the ability to administer certain types of medication, if needed," said Jason Blume with the Harlem School District.

Rigstad says this gives her peace of mind knowing there is help available to her son if he needs it.

"It's just good to know that if they're not able to breath that they have that medication, that's able to take it right away," said Rigstad.

Some other school personnel along with nurses will also be able to administer asthma medication to students.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also says that asthma is one of the top causes of absences from school.