Millions of children may be at risk of a life-threatening asthma attack after research suggests nearly all young sufferers fail to use their inhaler correctly.
A study of 65 young asthmatics found an astonishing 97 per cent do not know how to properly use their inhaler.
Improper use of inhalers could be not breathing deeply enough, spraying it while breathing out, or exhaling too soon after using the medicine.
And the youngsters’ parents were generally oblivious as to how well their children could use the life-saving medicine, the study also found.
Researchers worry parents’ lack of knowledge around inhalers or their failure to supervise the medicine’s use may be to blame for the children’s poor technique.
Failure to use an inhaler properly means the full dose of the medicine cannot reach the lungs, with much of it staying in the mouth or throat.
The research was carried out by the University of Chicago and led by Dr Anna Volerman, associate director of Med-Peds Education.
Asthma is the leading cause of chronic disease among children in the US, affecting one in 12 youngsters in 2015, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.