Throughout a 2-year period, children who presented at Hôtel-Dieu de France emergency department (ED) with acute asthma were analyzed prospectively and data on their environment, family and personal history as well as treatment were recorded. Treatment delivered at the ED, response and further outcome were analyzed. Out of 2024 children aged less than 15 years, 96 (5%) had acute asthma attack. Their median age was 4 years and M/F ratio was 2:1. Median age at onset of asthma was 2 years. Only 66 patients were recognized as asthmatics and 20% were given regular inhaled daily treatment. Current attack was mild in 45%, moderate in 45% and severe in 10% of cases. Home treatment before ED admission was often inadequate. Nine patients required hospital admission after failure of treatment at the ED. Within a median follow-up of 12 months, half of the patients experienced further attacks sometimes requiring ED care (27%) or hospital admission (8%). These data highlight the fact that asthma in our country is still largely under recognized and inadequately treated.