A 9-year-old girl in West Jordan, Utah, was denied her inhaler during a coughing fit at school, according to KSTU.
School district officials say, however, that the inhaler was only confiscated since staff were not notified of the child's prescription.
Emma Gonzales had obtained the inhaler over the weekend after a coughing fit landed her in the emergency room. On Monday when she was back at school, the coughing returned in full-force.
But when Emma took out her inhaler to use it, her teacher reportedly sent her to the office, where staff took possession of the medication.
“When I get into the coughing fit, I kind of hurtle up on the ground, can't breathe and then I start to kind of feel a little nauseous,” Gonzales said.
The child's coughing got so bad, she even ended up vomiting on her pants, KSTU reports.
District officials are now defending the staff's actions, noting they did everything right to make sure the medication – which didn't have Gonzales' name on it -- was meant for her. Apparently, Gonzales' parents hadn't filled out the appropriate paperwork.
“There could be all sorts of problems if children were just allowed to take any medication and we didn't have that verification. Again, this is for the student's safety,” said district spokeswoman Sandy Riesgraf.
Though Gonzales' parents understand the policy, her mother, Britney Badger, thinks the situation could have been handled better.
“When a child is puking all over themselves and they can't breathe, you know you kind of have to take action right then and there,” she said.