INTRODUCTION: To assess whether short message service (SMS) text message reminders would reduce non-attendance at a paediatric outpatient clinic. Furthermore, we wanted to clarify the families' attitude towards receiving an SMS reminder. METHOD AND MATERIALS: In a prospective cohort study we compared non-attendance among families who did/did not receive an SMS reminder. All patients with an appointment at the paediatric outpatient clinic in weeks 37 to 44, 2006 were included except those who were attending specific immunotherapy. By use of a computer program, the SMS reminders were sent to families with an appointment at the clinic in weeks 38, 40, 42 and 44. The families attending the clinic during these weeks were also asked to complete a questionnaire. RESULTS: Among families who did/did not receive an SMS reminder, the non-attendance was 10.0% and 5.9%, respectively. The relative risk was 1.7 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.1-2.7). Sixty-eight (41.7%) of the parents stated, that the SMS reminder helped them remember their appointment. A total of 155 (95.1%) would like to receive an SMS reminder before future appointments in the clinic. Only seven (2.6%) were offended by the SMS reminder. CONCLUSION: SMS reminders reduced non-attendance at the paediatric outpatient clinic.