Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A (CMT1A), a demyelinating neuropathy characterised by progressive length-dependent muscle weakness and atrophy, is thought to affect the foot and leg first followed some time later by hand weakness and dysfunction. We aimed to characterise hand strength, function and disease-related symptoms in children with CMT1A. Intrinsic and extrinsic hand strength was measured by hand-held dynamometry, function by nine-hole peg test, and disease-related symptoms by interview and examination in 84 affected children aged 2-16 years. Hand weakness and dysfunction was present from the earliest stages of the disease. While hand strength and function measures tended to increase with age throughout childhood, at no point did they reach normal values. Day-to-day hand problems such as poor handwriting, weakness, pain and sensory symptoms also worsened with age. The hand is affected at all ages in children with CMT1A, but may be under-recognised in its early stages, potentially delaying therapy.