Question: Does my child really need to be on an inhaled steroid everyday, and should I be concerned about side effects?
Answer: Generally, children who have asthma need to be on some type of controller medication every day. Controller medications typically are inhaled steroids. Inhaled steroids help control the inflammation in their lung and are only useful if they are given on a daily basis. So children with most types of asthma do need to be on inhaled corticosteroids on a daily basis. The side effects for low doses of inhaled corticosteroids are generally pretty minimal. You don't need to worry about them too much, but when children get on to medium dose or higher doses of inhaled corticosteroids, they can have some side effects.
The things that should be looked for are trouble with growth, and in fact, slowing of the growth velocity that the child's pediatrician can keep an eye on or the development of more severe problems like osteoporosis or trouble with their blood sugars.