The aim of this study was to evaluate children with lymphadenopathy and clinical approach to the suspicion of malignancy. The authors evaluated 457 patients with peripheral lymphadenopathy, less than 19 years of age, and referred to the Pediatric Oncology Department of Gazi University Medical School during the periods March 1996-April 2004. A total of 346 patients had benign disorders and 111 had malignant pathologies. Excisional biopsies were performed to 134 patients. A specific etiology could be found 39% in the benign group. Of the 457 patients, 218 were presented as acute, the rest as chronic lymphadenopathy. In the acute lymphadenopathy group, 98.2% of the patients had benign etiologies. The malignant disorders were mostly represented as chronic lymphadenopathy. Concerning the extension, 193 patients had localized lymphadenopathy and 264 had generalized lymphadenopaties. Cervical region was the most frequent site in both localized and generalized lymphadenopathy groups. Malignancies occurred as generalized lymphadenopathy. Supraclavicular area were involved only in the malignant group. Axillary involvement was predominant in BCG vaccine associated lymphadenitis and mycobacterium tuberculosis. All the lymph nodes less than 1 cm were due to benign causes. The malignant lesions were usually more than 3 cm in diameters. The following findings should alert the pediatrician for the probability of a malignant disorder: lymphadenopathy of more than 3 cm in size, of more than 4 weeks in duration, with supraclavicular involvement, and with abnormal laboratory and radiological findings.