Asthma affects the health and quality of life of many children and is a major cause of emergency department visits and hospital admissions. Advances in clinical and basic research have not led to a significant reduction in urgent care visits. One probable contributor is the lack of universal implementation of asthma guidelines into clinical practice.

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The estimated cost of caring for children with asthma between 2005 and 2009 was approximately $10.7 billion. (1) For children younger than 5 years, almost half of the cost was for inpatient care, one-third for medications, and one-tenth for outpatient care. In contrast, for children between ages 6 and 17 years, only 5% was spent on inpatient care and most for medications and outpatient visits. These numbers demonstrate the high burden of asthma and illustrate that young children are most vulnerable to exacerbations that...

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