Ninety-one patients had cardiorespiratory arrest in a children's hospital emergency department over six years. Only five children survived, three with severe neurologic sequelae. The records of 40 other children in the same community resuscitated by paramedics, but taken to other hospitals, were reviewed and there were three survivors. The causes and outcomes of resuscitation of children are clearly different from those of adults. Cardiac disease and ventricular arrhythmias are uncommon. Neurologically intact survival was seen only in those children who received immediate resuscitation and responded promptly. Research in cerebral resuscitation at the cellular level is promising for the future. Prevention of some cardiorespiratory arrests through accident prevention and earlier recognition of serious infections is possible now.