Medical Conditions

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 provided direction to 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 – Supporting Children and Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions (Anaphylaxis, Asthma, Diabetes, and/or Epilepsy) in Schools is to be implemented by school boards effective September 2018.

Resources and Tools

The ministry worked 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:


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 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 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 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 EduGAINS, a website that houses resources to support the Ministry of Education's policies and programs.

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