How many elementary kids take their own enzymes to school?


New member
DS10 has to go to the nurse's office to get his enzymes. Back when he started in kindergarten the nurse said he probably would always have to come to the office until middle school. Well, as I was volunteering in the office during the month of October, I did not like what I was seeing. I did not realize so many sick kids visited the nurse's office. Duh, that's what it's for, huh??!!?? But it made me uncomfortable to know that DS had to go in there every day! I remembered what the previous nurse told me back in kindergarten, so I didn't do anything about it.

Well, DS started taking his lunch a couple of weeks ago (he normally buys his lunch), so I just put his enzymes in his lunch box. The nurse tracked him down in the cafeteria last week and told him he needed to come to the office to take his enzymes, and not put any in his lunch box. I found this out was when I was unpacking his lunch box and found the untaken enzymes. The nurse did not call me about it. So at the end of last week I went in to have lunch with DS and stopped by the nurse's office on the way out. I asked her if it would be ok if he could bring his enzymes from home when he brought his lunch. She was not receptive to the idea but I told her I felt like he was responsible enough, and I didn't like DS coming into her office during cold/flu season. She checked his form and said that a self medication form was not completed, so he could not bring them. I told her his doctor is willing to complete another form. She said she would ask her supervisor though and get back with me.

Am I fighting an uphill battle??


Staff member
Ds is 9 and no way is he responsible enough. I do believe that once he's in middle school, we can sign off on him carrying his own meds should we feel he's ready. Have you checked the school districts policy on medications?


Super Moderator
Another thought: If they refuse, how about requesting that he go to the "office" or one of the administrators, even if nurse has to meet with enzymes, so he doesn't have to go into the sick room?? I mean our CF Clinics won't even allow the CFers in the waiting room for that reason, so that would seem only reasonable.


New member
My son started carrying his enzymes in his lunch box last year (2nd grade). We were lucky that we had a school nurse who knew him personally and knew he would be responsible to take them. I would say that in our school district he is probably an exception. A long time ago I read a story about a mom who wanted her son to be able to bring his enzymes in his lunch box. The school denied that to her so she had his CF doctor rewrite the rx to say that the enzymes dose had to be split up by 5 minutes. So if he took 3 capsules he would have to take one wait 5 minutes, take another and wait 5 more minutes. The mom then said that her son would miss too much lunch time going back and forth to the nurses office to do that so she requested that the nurse bring the enzymes to the lunch room for him. Well the nurse saw what a waste of time that was for her and granted them the permission to bring the enzymes in his lunch box.


New member
In my entire 13 years of school, I was never allowed, BY ANY SCHOOL, to carry my own enzymes.

One alternative to going to the nurse would be to have the teacher give them out at lunch time.

The only way I got away with carrying them was to hide them. It was not until my parents attended
a CF education day, (after I had graduated high school) that we learned, that had we pursued it,
the law would have permitted it.


Super Moderator
My daughter has been taking her own enzymes since kindergarten. Every cild is different for maturity level so as a parent if you know your child and think they can do it I would pursue the issue. The child is going to make mistakes but that is ok, in my opinion. This is their life long medical issue and we have the unique experience to have them become independent in their own care.

I bought little "pill bags" at first, would prepackage snack enzyme and lunch enzymes written on the bag with a sharpie. In kindergarten the teacher would give her a verbal reminder before snack. A lunch room aid would do the same before lunch. My daughter would leave the bags in her lunch box and I know they were taken.

I also leave a bottle of enzymes with the nurse incase of a party or I forgot to pack enzymes etc.

My daughter is 10 and completely independent with her enzymes. She has made mistakes ie, taking her lunch enzymes for snack of vice versa. No harm no foul and we used these as learning experiences.

She now is carrying her own albuterol inhaler at school to premedicate before gym class and is she feels tight at school. yesterday was the first day. She medicated herself before gym, no big deal so far.


New member
I'm 44 and I don't remember there being a nurse in the schools I went to. There may have been a nurse, but I was not required to see her to get my pills. I was responsible for taking my pills all my school years. Looking back, there are times I wish there was a nurse because there were many days I hid my pills or just said I took them, then paid for it later. If your son has no problems taking pills on his own, then I think he should be able to do it. But in today's political correctness I could see why a school would be reluctant to let a child handle his own pills. Good luck.


Yikes. I took my pills myself starting in kindergarten. My mom packed them in my lunch every day. It was never a problem. In fact, if I had had to go to the nurse's office every day I would have been mortified for being "different." Also, I like that it forced me to be self-sufficient.


New member
I think that every person has the right to bring and take their own medication. If you and your child feel responsible enough to do it you should claim that right of yours. Enzymes are not really "medication" for us. They are a very normal thing for a Cfer. Explain that they cannot cause any harm, we just need them with our food. Its like water to us, so necessary! Try to get them to cooperate. Make your kid feel normal and responsible for its enzymes. Because it is normal.


I know that I went to the nurse's office for awhile, probably K-3. Then we went through the self-medication procedure and from roughly 4-12 I carried them myself. It may help to be very clear that these are not drugs that anybody else would be wanting - in other words, your son isn't going to be selling them or anything. Not sure what your school is like, but that was definitely a concern probably k-12 for my area. Other than that, stress his personal responsibility. Good luck!


New member
I've taken my meds with me everywhere I've been ever sine the 1st grade. Of course, I grew up in a much different time, thank God. I think way too much responsibility is taken from kids today.
Just an old fart speaking his mind; it's worth exactly what you paid for it, I'm sure.


New member
My parents were both teachers & they knew that going through the nurse was not a good option for me and my siblings to take our enzymes. They knew that because of the germs in the nursing office, because it would make us feel "abnormal", and because it was a pain in the ass. I mean isn't remembering to go to the nurse to get your enzymes just as easy as remembering to take your enzymes on your own? Like someone previously said, there are bound to be times he forgets or doesn't take enough pills, but it is learning responsibility. With that said, I took my pills on my own even in pre-school(I'm pretty sure the teacher gave me my pills in pre-school, but no one watched me to make sure I took them) and my friends would ask if they could have a pill sometimes. I would keep fighting it for sure & maybe try and see if he can get his teacher to remind him and/or give them to him daily. BUT I would recommend fighting for this it if you plan to always pack him a lunch, I'll admit when I bought a lunch it was harder for me to remember taking my pills because they weren't staring at me in my lunch box. In middle school don't bother telling the nurse he takes any medication at school, it will make life easier.


New member
Our son has always carried enzymes with his lunch or snack (since Kindergarten) and a teacher or aide makes sure to observe him taking them at meal and snack times since he's not responsible enough to do so on his own. We were adamant that he was not going to the nurse's office to get them (where all the other sick kids are!). We do leave extra with the nurse in case he drops one or they have a special occassion.


New member
In elementary school, the teachers kept meds in locked tool box and gave them as needed, so no need to visit the germ filled nurse's office; all proper paper work was filled out. In middle school, we just packed them and did not ask permission. In high school, no problems to take the enzymes by himself.


New member
I've always been responsible for my own enzymes ever since I started taking them at age 5 or so. In Sweden I was taught (at age 8) to be responsible for all of my medication. The disease is MINE and parents, nurses, doctors are there only to help. Don't cut his independence, there's strength in taking responsibility!


New member
I always kept my bottle of enzymes in my teachers desk. I went to a parochial school so I feel like they were a little more relaxed on the med issue. Start independence early....after 30 years, I still need a reminder from my husband :)

Lena Bean

New member
I was never allowed to carry around my own enzymes until 11th grade. It caused a LOT of issues for me in elementary school, because I was always late for lunch they wouldn't let me sit with my friends, and I was forced to sit with the "bad" kids. I got taunted for it. So, do fight for your kids to take it themselves, it does more harm than good emotionally for them to have to go to the nurse, kids notice things like that.


Active member
My daughter is in 4th grade. Up until this year I was told it was district policy to have all medications given in the health room. The secretary gave them to her and for the most part it worked out pretty well. I decided this year that she needed to take more on responsibility so I got a note from her Dr saying she could self administer. I brought the form in expecting a fight and the secretary said we could just keep it under the table and put it in her file but not tell the nurse. Lili decided she wanted to start with just snack so she still goes to the office before lunch.