Ambulatory electroencephalogram has been used for differentiating epileptic from nonepileptic events, recording seizure frequency and classification of seizure type. We studied 100 consecutive children prospectively aged 11 days to 16 years that were referred for an ambulatory electroencephalogram to a regional children's hospital. Ambulatory electroencephalogram was clinically useful in contributing to a clinical diagnosis in 71% of children who were referred with a range of clinical questions. A diagnosis of epileptic disorder was confirmed by obtaining an ictal record in 26% and this included 11 children that had previously normal awake and or sleep electroencephalogram. We recommend making a telephone check of the current target event frequency and prioritising those with typical events on most days in order to improve the frequency of recording a typical attack.