U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has announced more than $1.6 billion in funding for school districts to help students manage their asthma.
The funding is part of Gillibrand’s School Asthma Management Plan Act and was included in the national education bill recently signed into law by President Obama.
The funding will go to school districts to help them develop policies over how to deal with student asthma attacks. It will also include money for training so that schools can help students prevent and respond to their own asthma attacks.
"This is a real, real world benefit to children with asthma," said Michael Seilback of the American Lung Association. He said if students have help managing their own asthma, they can spend less time in the emergency room and more time in school.
"Most children with asthma know there are certain triggers that cause their asthma to flare up and could lead to an asthma attack," Seilback said. "We can’t prevent those symptoms from starting, but, by actively working on their own condition, we try to avoid getting to the point where they’re being sent to an emergency room."
According to the New York State Department of Health, more than 56,000 Long Island children suffer from asthma. Nearly 1,300 were hospitalized overnight for their asthma in 2014.