As pediatric asthma differs from adult asthma, child-specific asthma guidelines should be used and adult and adolescent guidelines should not be extrapolated to younger age groups.
The prevalence of childhood asthma appears to be plateauing in many affluent countries. However, asthma remains a significant cause of childhood morbidity and mortality, and is still a common problem managed in ambulatory and emergency care settings.
Most children with asthma have mild intermittent asthma and do not require daily therapy. Minimum doses and medications for maximal control should be used in those who require preventive therapies. Therapy should be individualized.
A number of important differential diagnoses should be considered when evaluating a child with suspected asthma, especially in very young children or when high doses of inhaled corticosteroids are required.