Hundreds of millions of people in the world suffer from allergies, and it is estimated that 300 million have asthma. In some countries, one in three children has asthma, and 80% of them also have other allergies. There are many guidelines and consensus documents about how to treat this disease but the dissemination and implementation of these are still major challenges. 

"Despite available treatments, less than 50% of asthmatic children control their symptoms," according to Prof. Nikos Papadopoulos, EAACI Secretary General and Pediatric Asthma ICON Chair. "Pediatric asthma is a chronic disease and therefore, requires chronic treatment. With this Consensus we highlight that pediatric asthma can be controlled by establishing a partnership between patient and doctor and adhering to a well-designed personal management plan. Regular monitoring ascertains the effectiveness and fine-tunes treatment," he said.

 Recognizing a lack of consensus-driven information and general recommendations, four of the most influential allergy and clinical immunology professional organizations have joined forces to launch the International Collaboration in Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (iCAALL). Participating in iCAALL with EAACI are the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma&Immunology (AAAAI), the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI) and the World Allergy Organization (WAO). 

 A major focus of this initiative is the production of a series of International Consensus (ICON) documents offering recommendations for the management of global challenges such as pediatric asthma. 

 "Data from the USA Centers for Disease Control indicates that one in eleven children has asthma and one in five children with asthma required an emergency department visit. Pediatric asthma is as or more prevalent in other countries. The development of this Pediatric Asthma ICON regarding diagnosing and treating this very common and sometimes lethal pediatric disorder is extremely important. Highlighting key issues and rectifying differences in published guidelines on pediatric asthma is a significant step towards providing better care and outcomes for children with asthma throughout the world," explained Thomas B. Casale, MD, FAAAAI AAAAI Executive Vice President. 

"Diagnosis and care for children with asthma remains challenging in many areas of the world, including the United States. Our hope is that publication and use of the International Consensus on (ICON) Pediatric Asthma can help change this problem," said Stanley Fineman, MD, FACAAI, MBA and president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. "As allergists, our goal is to get the right care to the children who need it most no matter where they live. With proper care and management children with asthma can grow up to live not just healthier, but more productive lives."

The International Consensus (ICON) on Pediatric Asthma has been launched during the EAACI Congress 2012 in Geneva to highlight the key messages that are common to many of the existing guidelines, while critically reviewing and commenting on their differences, thus providing a concise reference. The Pediatric Asthma ICON provides advice for the best clinical practice in pediatric asthma management. 

Citation: Papadopoulos NG, Arakawa H, Carlsen K-H, Custovic A, Gern J, Lemanske R, Le Souef P, Mäkelä M, Roberts G, Wong G, Zar H, Akdis CA, Bacharier LB, Baraldi E, van Bever HP, de Blic J, Boner A, Burks W, Casale TB, Castro-Rodriguez JA, Chen YZ, El-Gamal YM, Everard ML, Frischer T, Geller M, Gereda J, Goh DY, Guilbert TW, Hedlin G, Heymann PW, Hong SJ, Hossny EM, Huang JL, Jackson DJ, de Jongste JC, Kalayci O, Aït-Khaled N, Kling S, Kuna P, Lau S, Ledford DK, Lee SI, Liu AH, Lockey RF, Lødrup-Carlsen K, Lötvall J, Morikawa A, Nieto A, Paramesh H, Pawankar R, Pohunek P, Pongracic J, Price D, Robertson C, Rosario N, Rossenwasser LJ, Sly PD, Stein R, Stick S, Szefler S, Taussig LM, Valovirta E, Vichyanond P, Wallace D, Weinberg E, Wennergren G, Wildhaber J, Zeiger RS. International consensus on (icon) pediatric asthma. Allergy 2012; DOI: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2012.02865.x.