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Free Content Management of childhood asthma [State of the Art Series. Asthma in high- and low-income countries, Edited by M. Chan-Yeung. Number 5 in the series]

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The guidelines for the management of childhood asthma have evolved from recommendations by experts to being evidence-based as a result of better understanding of the pathophysiology of asthma, awareness of the heterogeneity and early onset of childhood asthma and a new approach to the pharmacological management. While there are reasonably good evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of asthma in children aged over 5 years, there is a paucity of data for preschool children for the most appropriate management. Most guidelines include recommendations on diagnosis of asthma in children and pharmacological treatment according to the severity of the asthma. Environmental control is an important cornerstone of care, and allergen avoidance should be recommended for children with asthma who are known to be sensitised to the allergen. Environmental tobacco smoke remains an important trigger for worsening asthma in all children, and their parents must be encouraged to give up the habit. Educating children with asthma and their care givers on the disease and proper treatment is another vital element in the management of asthma. There remains a major problem with ensuring the implementation of guidelines in most countries. A care gap thus exists between best practice and common practice. The impact on asthma morbidity of developing and implementing guidelines requires appropriate study.

Keywords: asthma; childhood; management guidelines

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Section of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada 2: Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg, South Africa 3: Department of Medicine, Division of Respiratory Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, China

Publication date: 2006-06-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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