The fluoroquinolones are characterised by a broad spectrum of antibacterial activity that includes many Mycobacterium, Chlamydia, Legionella, and Mycoplasma species as well as many multiply-resistant bacterial strains, good oral bioavailability, extensive tissue penetration, low protein binding and long elimination half-lives. Numerous clinical trials have shown that these compounds are effective and well tolerated in the treatment of adult patients with various infections, including urinary tract, respiratory tract, skin and soft tissue, bone and joint, and gynaecological infections, sexually transmitted diseases, infectious diarrhoea, infections in immunocompromised patients, and in surgical prophylaxis. Thus, there is increasing pressure to use this class of drugs in paediatric patients. However, concerns regarding adverse effects, particularly cartilage toxicity, have restricted development of the fluoroquinolone compounds for use in this population. Potential indications include Pseudomonas infections (mainly exacerbations of cystic fibrosis), urinary tract, gastrointestinal and central nervous system infections, infections in immunocompromised patients, certain otorhinolaryngological infections and infections caused by multiply-resistant pathogens. To date, clinical experience gained with fluoroquinolones in paediatric infections, which has been mainly on a compassionate-use basis, indicates that well-designed formal studies should be conducted to fully assess the efficacy and tolerability of these agents in specific indications in children.