Kids who have asthma are often spun into a life-threatening condition by a common cold, but University of Iowa researchers say a prescription drug may help prevent the situation from becoming dire. Doctor Miles Weinberger. a U-of-I pediatrics professor, says the anti-inflammatory drug Prednisolone can help keep coughs from colds in check. He says 1 in 200 children with asthma are hospitalized, and he says giving them the drug could’ve prevented the hospitalization. Dr. Weinberger says for people with asthma, the viral infections that cause the common cold are a major cause of health emergencies, including hospitalizations. He says it strikes kids the worst.Weinberger says children age five and younger with asthma have more than twice the number of hospitalizations than do older children with asthma and five times the number than adolescents and adults. He says Prednisolone can be used at home when cough from a cold first appears and it’s highly effective in preventing asthma-related urgent care visits and hospitalizations, especially for preschoolers. The study appears in the February 2003 issue of the Journal of Pediatrics.