Medical Conditions

Promoting child and student well-being is one of the four key goals in “Achieving Excellence: A Renewed Vision for Education in Ontario.” This goal includes working to make schools inclusive, safe and welcoming learning environments for all students. Ensuring the health and safety of children and students with medical conditions is essential to promoting well-being, and requires a partnership among families, members of the school community and community partners, including health care professionals.

The ministry has released new requirements for school boards to have policies and procedures in place to support children and students with certain medical conditions in schools. The policy, known as PPM 161 (Draft) – Supporting Children and Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions (Anaphylaxis, Asthma, Diabetes, and/or Epilepsy) in Schools was released as a draft on October 24, 2017. The PPM will be finalized in winter 2018, for implementation by September 2018.

News Releases and Background

PPM 161 (Draft): Supporting Children and Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions (Anaphylaxis, Asthma, Diabetes, and/or Epilepsy) in Schools (PDF, 626 KB)
October 24, 2017: Ontario Making Schools Safer for Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions

Resources and Tools

The ministry is working with education partners and several health-based organizations, including the Lung Association – Ontario, Asthma Canada, Food Allergy Canada, Epilepsy Ontario, the Canadian Paediatric Society, Diabetes Canada, Ophea and the Ontario Education Services Corporation to develop tools and resources.

Plan of Care templates, fact sheets, and additional resources are available for anaphylaxis, asthma, diabetes and epilepsy.

Asthma

Asthma is a common chronic (long-term) lung disease that can make it hard to breathe. People with asthma have extra sensitive airways, that when triggered can tighten up, become swollen, produce extra mucus and make it hard to breathe.

Ryan’s Law came into force on May 5, 2015 and requires all school boards to have an asthma policy in place to support students with asthma.

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that can be life threatening; it requires avoidance strategies and immediate response in the event of an emergency.

Sabrina's Law came into force on January 1, 2006. This law ensures all school boards have policies or procedures in place to address anaphylaxis in schools.

Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic condition where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or the body does not properly use the insulin it makes. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body control the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood.

Epilepsy

Epilepsy results from sudden bursts of hyperactivity in the brain; this causes seizures which vary in form, strength and frequency, depending on where in the brain abnormal activity is found.

Additional Resources on Medical Conditions

Additional resources and tools for educators are available on the Prevalent Medical Conditions Portal on eCommunity Ontario. The portal can be accessed by going to e-Community Ontario and creating an account.

Links to third party content are for general informational purposes only and do not constitute a recommendation or an endorsement.