The mortality in children who were aged 0-14 years in the Northern Territory in 1983-1985 was 2.5-times higher than it was for Australia generally over the same period. Total accidental-death rates over the period 1979-1983 in Aboriginal children were 2.2-times higher than in non-Aboriginal children. A trend towards an excess in Aboriginal child mortality was present in most categories except drowning and was particularly noteworthy for deaths due to natural and environmental causes (predominantly caused by box-jellyfish stings). Non-Aboriginal children experienced higher rates of death due to drowning than they did elsewhere in Australia; most of these occurred in domestic swimming-pools. A higher mortality was encountered in rural areas. The pattern of motor-vehicle-related deaths differed between Aboriginal children and non-Aboriginal children, with the former experiencing a greater number of deaths due to non-collision accidents that involved "loss of control". The implications of these findings for the development of appropriate preventive strategies is discussed.