Simple planning can reduce asthma symptoms and the need for emergency medications for asthmatic children. The study, reported in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine (September 2004), found that a "planned-care method" can improve children's asthma by anticipating their need for care. The approach requires regularly scheduled visits with specially trained nurses to help families learn how to foresee asthma symptoms and to more effectively manage those symptoms. The method also involves more asthma management education for physicians treating children with asthma.

The researchers based their findings on a study of 638 children, aged 3 to 17, who received asthma care. At the conclusion of the 2-year study, the participants receiving planned care had 13 fewer days of symptoms a year and needed a third less medication, compared with children who received standard asthma care.