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Feature Article

What’s new in the management of asthma in children?

Peter van Asperen

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Abstract

Recent studies have provided new information to allow more tailored approaches to the diagnosis and management of asthma in children. Children with asthma must be correctly diagnosed and treated appropriately so they can maintain a normal quality of life.

Key Points

  • It is important to distinguish the different wheezing phenotypes in early childhood because they have different prognostic and therapeutic implications.
  • Leukotriene antagonists are a reasonable first-line option for children with frequent intermittent or mild persistent asthma.
  • Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) remain the mainstay of treatment for children with moderate to severe persistent asthma.
  • Long-acting β-agonists are overused as first-line preventer treatment in children with asthma, and current evidence suggests that they may not always be the preferred option as add-on therapy in children not adequately controlled on ICS. They are not currently recommended for children aged 5 years and younger.
  • Correct diagnosis, assessment of severity, education, appropriate inhaler selection and addressing adherence issues are other important key points to successful asthma management in children.

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