Blood product transfusions can be life saving and must be considered in the supportive care of children of any age with underlying oncological or haematological problems, as well as after major surgery or after serious trauma. Paediatric transfusions are particularly challenging because life-long effects of transfusion complications are more durable and serious in children than in adults, in whom the median age at transfusion is >70 years (Tynell E, Norda R, Shanwell A, Björkman A. Long-term survival in transfusion recipients in Sweden, 1993. Transfusion 2001, 41, 251-255). While the general indications for transfusions in paediatric patients are similar to adults, the threshold, volumes and infusion rates for transfusions vary with age. In this Update, we discuss current blood products, then suggest transfusion "triggers" in major surgery and haematological and oncologic practice. Finally, future developments and new possibilities are considered.