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Adjust as your child ages. continued...

Start trusting them more. You'll still have adults on hand for backup, but at this age, it's time for your child to start taking more responsibility.

"You want kids to make their mistakes when other people are still watching them," says Szychlinski. "If we don't give them the opportunity and we maintain all the protection during middle school, when they get to high school, the outcomes can be more dangerous because there won't be the same monitoring."

When can you give your child the responsibility to carry his or her own epinephrine? Williams says it's a judgment call based less on age and more on skills and knowledge.

"Generally by the time a child reaches middle school, most school systems allow it," he says. "It's a decision usually made in conjunction with the school nurse." A child may be ready when he:

  • Understands how to work the device
  • Knows when to use it
  • Is mature enough not to share it or show it off to friends

When is a child ready to give themselves an injection? "I insist that it is a skill they can do when they go to high school," Szychlinski says.