New Expert Guideline Published on Treating Pediatric Asthma

July 10, 2018

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) has published the Pediatric Asthma Yardstick, a new expert guideline to help clinicians determine when and how asthma therapy needs to be stepped up in children from infants to adolescents.

Despite that asthma affects as many as 1 in 10 US school-aged children, few comprehensive guidelines have been published on the optimum treatment of pediatric asthma. To meet this need, the ACAAI has developed and published the Pediatric Asthma Yardstick. The user-friendly guideline, which appeared recently in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology,1 is designed to help clinicians understand which asthma controller treatments are best among different pediatric age groups and identifies when a step-up is required.

The objective is to provide clinicians who treat children with asthma “practical and clinically relevant recommendations for each step-up and each intervention, with the intent of helping practitioners better treat their pediatric patients with asthma, particularly those who do not always respond to recommended therapies,” according to the guidelines.

“There is nothing like the Pediatric Asthma Yardstick in the current literature,” said allergist Bradley Chipps, MD, in an ACAAI press release about the guideline.2 “We created the yardstick because there are many options for treating pediatric asthma. It’s a roadmap for how to move forward with kids whose asthma is not under control.” Dr Chipps is the ACAAI president and lead author of the paper.

The guideline addresses the diagnosis and management of pediatric asthma in 3 age groups: infants and young children aged 5 years and younger; school-aged children aged 6 to 11 years; and adolescents aged 12 to 18 years. “The recommendations are presented around patient profiles, by severity and age, and are based on current best practice strategies according to the most recent data and the authors’ clinical experience,” Dr Chipps said in the release.

—Michael Gerchufsky


  1. Chipps BE, Bacharier LB, Farrar JR, et al. The pediatric asthma yardstick: practical recommendations for a sustained step-up in asthma therapy for children with inadequately controlled asthma. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2018;120(6):559-579.e11.
  2. New pediatric asthma yardstick has treatment guidance for children of every age [press release]. Arlington Heights, IL: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology; July 9, 2018. Accessed July 10, 2018.