Practical guidelines for continuous single channel EEG monitoring using the Cerebral Function Analysing Monitor (CFAM) have been outlined based on experience of 54 critically ill comatose and/or paralysed sedated children monitored for up to 9 days during the acute phase of illness. Fall in amplitude and slowing of frequency following either a cerebral insult or barbiturate administration as well as paroxysmal events were readily recognisable in the CFAM traces. Such changes could be used to (1) identify effects of cerebral insults (acute or cumulative), (2) recognise unstable patients exquisitely sensitive to aspects of standard care and (3) evaluate seizure control. Despite these useful contributions to clinical care, significant limitations were apparent. It is recommended that CFAM monitoring should be combined with serial conventional EEG recording in order to check the appropriateness of the cortical areas being monitored, the quality and type of signal being processed as well as the significance of the 1 or 2 channel CFAM findings in relation to global cerebral function.