The knowledge and attitude towards asthma, of parents, of 85 asthmatic children was assessed using a 17 item questionnaire. Results showed that 34.1% believed asthma to be contagious, 48.2% of the parents hesitated in referring to their child's illness as asthma. Other commonly held beliefs were that asthma is a life long illness (35.3%); food items are important precipitating factors for acute attacks (88.2%); mild exacerbations need to be treated with bronchodilators (6.3%); bronchodilators should be started at home before consulting a physician in case of an acute attack (61.2%); and cure of asthma is possible through modern drugs (30.6%) or through alternative systems of medicine (65%). Ninety one per cent of parents lacked an awareness of the side effects of anti-asthma medication. It is concluded that parental education through improved physician parent communication is necessary for enhancing the quality of care being provided to children with asthma, a fact also highlighted by the International Consensus Report on Management of Asthma.