Asthma knowledge and medication compliance among parents of 150 asthmatic children in Nanjing were assessed using a self-administered questionnaire. The results showed that 54.7% of parents had poor knowledge of asthma and its management. Parental compliance with medication was also suboptimal as only 43.3% of parents reported adherence with prescribed anti-asthmatic medication for their children. Reasons for non-compliance included fear of medication side-effects and tolerance, and forgetting to give the child's medication. Education and occupation were found to be associated with asthma knowledge, however there was no association between age or income with knowledge. Income was associated with compliance with asthma medication, however no association was found between parents' age, education, occupation, or asthma knowledge with compliance. This study has identified the need for accurate and up-to-date information on asthma for parents of asthmatic children as well as programs aimed at teaching parents skills in managing their child's asthma. There is also the need for strategies aimed at improving communication between the health provider and parents of asthmatic children.