An investigation was conducted on the frequency of accidental extubations at Shizuoka Children's Hospital during the past 12 years. The study was performed on 150 randomly selected patients who received respiratory support for more than 24 hr. Fifteen accidental extubations occurred in 9 patients. Most of them (87%) occurred in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and the rate was 1 per 54 days of intubation. The time at which these accidents happened varied, although they were more common during the day-time. The reasons of accidental extubation could not be specified in two-thirds of the cases. It became clear that more immature babies were more likely to suffer accidental extubation, perhaps reflecting the fact that most of the immature babies in the NICU were intubated orally, and that a larger proportion of them required a longer period of respiratory support. Therefore, early weaning from respiratory support is recommended if it is possible. In conclusion, increased surveillance and more secure methods of taping of endotracheal tubes are crucial for preventing life-threatening accidental extubations during respiratory support.