Asthma Management Handbook
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Table. Sample questions for reviewing asthma in children

Recent symptom control

How often does child wheeze or become short of breath?

Does child wake during the night due to wheezing or shortness of breath? (How many times per month?)

How often does child need to take reliever inhaler? (How many days per week? How many times per day? How many puffs?)*

How many weeks does child’s reliever inhaler last?

Has child missed time from childcare, school and or sport due to asthma?

Validated questionnaires are available for assessing recent symptom control:

Adherence to preventer treatment (if prescribed)

Does child take a preventer inhaler? (What dose is on the label? How many puffs per day have you been told to use?)

Many children miss some doses. In the last four weeks:

  • how many days a week would your child have taken the preventer medication? None at all? One? Two? (etc).
  • ​how many times a day would your child take it? Morning only? Evening only? Morning and evening? (or other)
  • each time, how many puffs would they take? One? Two? (etc).

Do you find it easier to remember to give it in the mornings or evenings?

How often does child need new script for preventer medicine? (Note: number of doses per unit varies between brands)


Has child had a flare-up since last visit?

What triggered it? (e.g. cold symptoms, allergies, stopping preventer)

How was the flare-up treated?

Has child since last visit/ever needed to take oral corticosteroids? (How often and how much?)

Has child ever been hospitalised for asthma or a wheezing episode?

When was the child’s last flare-up (and last flare-up before that one)? How were these flare-ups treated?

How many times has child visited GP/hospital emergency room for asthma symptoms in the last [specify time period, e.g. year/month/2 weeks]?


Does child have allergic rhinitis (hay fever)?

Is child using other medicines for respiratory symptoms (e.g. oral or intranasal antihistamines, intranasal corticosteroids)?

Does the child have allergies (e.g. to foods or insect bites) or need an adrenaline injector (e.g. Epipen) for emergencies?

Does the child get skin rashes caused by allergies?

Inhaler technique

Can you show me how you use the inhaler?

When did you last wash the spacer? (How do you wash it?)

*Note: The use of more than 3 canisters per year (equivalent to use every day) is associated with doubling of the risk of severe flare-ups.1

1: Stanford RH, Shah MB, D'Souza AO et al. Short-acting beta-agonist use and its ability to predict future asthma-related outcomes. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 2012; 109: 403-7. (Abstract available from:

Last reviewed version 2.0

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