As your child gets older she will want to have more independence and start doing things on her own, such as visiting friends' homes and staying overnight. This may cause your some anxiety, but you would feel even more concerned if she was not being invited to parties and sleepovers because her friends' parents felt unable to cope should she have an acute asthma attack.

Visits to other people's homes will probably require some pre-planning, particularly if it means your child will come up against common triggers, such as pets or feather bedding. She may be able to overcome the pet problem by taking extra medication, although if the presence of a cat or dog makes her feel really ill she probably will not enjoy the social occasion.

If she is invited to sleep at a friend's house, ask the parents if she can bring her own pillow and sleeping bag. An asthmatic child must be allowed to lead as full a life as any other child. If you have ensured that your child and everyone else is responsible for her care are fully informed about her condition and that her treatment is readily available, she can face the world with confidence.

Just because your child has asthma, it does not mean she must live an overprotected life. Provided she and everyone else responsible for her care are fully informed about her condition and know what to do in an emergency, she can be treated the same as any other child. Independence is as important for an asthmatic child as it is for any other, so you need to play your part in helping her to achieve it.