Six-year-old Amy’s asthma was so bad that she couldn’t climb a flight of stairs. Her doctor suggested she try swimming; 19 years later, Ms. Van Dyken won four gold medals in the Atlanta Olympics -- and two more at Sydney in 2000. Kids with asthma can accomplish remarkable things!

We YOU Docs want you to know that there’s great news about managing childhood asthma. The Food and Drug Administration phased-out over-the-counter inhalers containing chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). So, your child isn’t inhaling that ozone-destroying chemical. And because you now need a prescription to get an inhaler, you have to go to a doc to get life-saving meds (often with better instructions), and your child has a better chance of realizing her full potential.

When you go see the doc, ask about:

How to create an asthma action plan to share with teachers, the school nurse, family and friends. Then, if your child has an asthma attack, everyone knows what to do. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute has an action-plan template to use; the American Lung Association offers the Open Airways For Schools program.

The right way to use emergency rescue meds and long-term asthma control meds. Include your child in the discussion.

How to reduce costs if the meds are too expensive (the old inhalers were cheaper; although, they cost more in the long run). Most pharmaceutical companies offer assistance.

And breathe a sigh of relief, science has made it so your child can breathe easier now.

The YOU Docs, Mehmet Oz, host of “The Dr. Oz Show” and Mike Roizen of Cleveland Clinic, are authors of “YOU: Losing Weight.” For more information go to