Chesterfield parents are worried about their asthmatic children's health at school after breathing machines were removed district-wide for replacement.
In all, 41 machines were temporarily removed from Chesterfield County schools. The devices assist students with respiratory problems. Parents say they depend on the schools to provide the machines.
Five-year-old Antoine Boswell uses his home nebulizer, but has his own mouth piece at Beulah Elementary School for emergencies.
"This is something serious, this is something we all need in the school for the kids," said Antoine's mother, Christlynn Boswell.
But after a call from the school nurse, Antoine's mother questioned the availability of these compressors. She was told the school was taking it away.
"I really got upset, I started crying I got frustrated," she said.
"The parents are not wrong, the parent's concerns about the availability of the compressor for today sound legitimate," said Chesterfield Health Department, Doctor Parham Jaberi.
Breathing machines aren't mandated. Therefore, schools depend on donations. The 41 donated to Chesterfield are five to seven years old. To replace those takes money which Dr. Jaberi says, the county doesn't have yet.
"We took our compressors out. There were other compressors donated by other folks that may have been available, but I think it's fair to say their use for the students was limited for this week," he said. "I think the calls that we've heard from the parents of the particular school and others has prompted us to take even quicker action and we'll make sure the ones that are owned by the health department are back into the school systems."
Beulah did have another breathing machine at school, just not county issued.
The health department promised they'd get one back to Beulah Thursday and provide other schools with one in about a week.
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