Asthma in Children

Asthma is the most common chronic condition among children in the world. In Canada, those most affected by asthma are children. Asthma is one of the major reasons why children in Canada are hospitalized. Asthma Canada continues to advocate for and champion policies that protect our youth.

Ryan’s Law

Working alongside advocacy partners MPP Jeff Yurek and Sandra Gibbons, Asthma Canada advocated for the passage of Ryan’s Law in Ontario.

Bill 20, Ryan’s Law (Ensuring Asthma Friendly Schools), 2015 was passed by the Ontario Legislature on May 05, 2015.

The bill, named after Sandra Gibbon’s son Ryan who died in 2012 from an asthma attack in school, establishes new policies to ensure children with asthma can attend school safely. The law allows students to carry their asthma medication themselves, regulates asthma training for school staff, requires schools to reduce student’s exposure to asthma triggers, and ensures the school has an Asthma Action Plan on file for each child with asthma.

Watch Asthma Canada award MPP Yurek and Sandra Gibbons the Leadership Award for Advocacy at our annual conference. 

Prevalent Medication Conditions

Asthma Canada staff attended consultations in the drafting of a comprehensive policy that includes asthma as one of the Prevalent Medical Conditions. The Ontario Ministry of Education moved forward with the policy to address prevalent medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, anaphylaxis and epilepsy in Ontario schools. School boards are required to provide students that have medical conditions with individual care plans which outline contacts and procedures tailored to the individual students to manage their daily medical needs.

The policy is known as PPM 161- Supporting Children and Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions (Anaphylaxis, Asthma, Diabetes, and/or Epilepsy) in Schools.

The education partners and health-based organizations (alongside Asthma Canada, included The Lung Association – Ontario, Food Allergy Canada, the Canadian Paediatric Society, and Diabetes Canada) also assisted in developing educational resources that will support training for educators and help raise awareness about medical conditions in schools.

September Asthma Peak

Canadian researchers have found that the September back-to-school period brings a dramatic increase in hospitalizations for children with asthma. This increase starts after the return to school and reaches its peak in September. This period is now recognized as the September Asthma Peak.

Every year, Asthma Canada reviews and gathers relevant recommendations to help our community prepare for the back to school season and September Asthma Peak to protect children living with asthma and their families. We disseminate the information and resources through press releases, media articles, friendly partners, and our own communications platforms.

Read more about September Asthma Peak


Additional resources:

Asthma in Children

Best Practices for Asthma Management in Schools

Children's Asthma Action Plan