If your child begins to get really careless about taking medication at school, ask your doctor about changing the term. Some asthma medications are given four times a day, but a double dose twice a day may be possible. If he has not had an attack for a long time it may be appropriate to stop taking the preventive medicine and to rely on reliever inhalers.

If so, stress how important it is that he takes his medication when needed as this is the only way his asthma can be properly managed. It is worrying to have a child who suddenly becomes blase about his condition but this can and does happen, particularly as the child approaches his teens. At this stage, peer pressure, a need to feel the same as others and a desire to be independent all come to the fore.

Try to be as supportive and understanding as you can. If your child finds it hard to come to terms with his condition you may find it helpful to contact a support group through which both you and he can form relationships with other families who are in a similar position. As your child gets older he might enjoy going to a specialized summer camp where he can meet children with the same problems and find out how they cope.

Most parents worry about the side effects of asthma medication, but the side effect of a serious, untreated asthma attack is potentially far worse. With proper guidance, medication will enhance your child's life. Most doctors are concerned about getting asthma care right, and many are supported by asthma clinics. Find a doctor your child likes and what you respect.