NORWALK - A new study says children are frequently prescribed asthma inhalers when they don't need them.

Doctors say the medication in those inhalers can lead to long-term side effects such as stunted growth and susceptibility to respiratory infections.

Doctors treating patients with asthma say the findings make them uneasy.

They say they don't want people hearing the news to react by stopping treatment. Instead, they want to make sure that those who need inhalers have them on-hand, because they go a long way toward keeping children with severe asthma out of the emergency room.

Dr. Phil Hemmers, of Norwalk-based Allergy Center of Connecticut, says if a child's general doctor prescribes an inhaler it's important to go to a specialist.