Dear Jessdud: I'm a resp therapist & asthma instructor ... the following info is for educational purposes only and not meant as medical advice.
The inhaled steroids you are speaking of is called corticosteroids. They are not the same as the ones you hear on the news that makes muscles stronger, etc. These are a mild form of steroids and are inhaled directly into the lungs ... no other organs are exposed and receive no part of the corticosteroids. Sometimes you hear that pt's growth and health is affected by these drugs, but it's usually the fact that due to asthma and the lack of oxygen a body needs (or not enough) has an affect on the body. An ex would be if you had 2 plants and you watered one as directed & the other not as much. The one that did not receive the amount of water as directed will not grow to the degree as the one receiving the accurate amont of water. I'm sure your MD would not have placed your children on any meds that he/she did not think was needed to control their asthma. The Americal Lung Association is an excellent source of info. There are tapes available (free) that even teach young children how to explain that they are having breathing problem rather than just saying "I don't feel good." By a young one learning how to tell someone they are having breathing problems can be of great help to a teacher to distinguish between "I can't breathe good" rather that "I don't feel good" which they hear a lot at school, especially during the winter when colds, etc are frequent.
Good luck and hope your children are better soon.