In this article, oxidative stress and enzymic-non-enzymic antioxidants status were investigated in children with acute pneumonia. Our study included 28 children with acute pneumonia and 29 control subjects. The age ranged from 2 to I I years (4.57 +/- 2.13 years) and 2 to 12 years (4.89 +/- 2.22 years) in the study and control groups, respectively. Whole blood malondialdehyde (MDA) and reduced glutathione (GSH), serum beta-carotene, retinol, vitamin C, vitamin E, catalase (CAT), ceruloplasmin (CLP), total bilirubin, erythrocyte superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) levels were studied in all subjects. There was a statistically significant difference between the groups for all parameters except for serum CAT. Whole blood MDA, serum CLP and total bilirubin levels were higher in the study group than those of the control group. However, SOD, GPx, beta-carotene, retinol, vitamin C, vitamin E and GSH levels were lower in the study group compared with the control group. All antioxidant vitamin activities were decreased in children with acute pneumonia. Our study demonstrated that oxidative stress was increased whereas enzymic and non-enzymic antioxidant activities were significantly decreased in children with acute pneumonia. Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.