OBJECTIVE: To revise the guideline for the diagnosis and management of chronic asthma in children in view of the following considerations: the existing South African Childhood Asthma Working Group (SACAWG) guideline was produced 10 years ago; diagnosis of asthma in young children remains a challenge; evidence-based treatment is the new paradigm; new treatment approaches to achieving and maintaining control; therapeutic roles of several medications have evolved; more studies and data on treatment in young children; new medications and formulations; a change of emphasis in assessing asthma control to guide treatment changes. The main aim of the guideline is to promote a better standard of treatment based on understanding of the pathophysiology and pharmacotherapy of asthma, and encouraging uniformity in asthma management. EVIDENCE: A detailed literature review by a working group of clinicians from relevant disciplines. The strategies recommended are classified according to the evidence category in Appendix B, and denoted as Evidence A, B, C and D. RECOMMENDATIONS: These include an appropriate diagnostic approach, environmental control measures, treatment options, definition of asthma control, and strategies to achieve control. ENDORSEMENT: The guideline document was endorsed by the South African Thoracic Society (SATS), the National Asthma Education Programme (NAEP), the South African Paediatric Association (SAPA) and the South African Academy of Family Practice.