AIM: To quantify use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) in children with non-malignant, life-limiting illness. METHOD: A self-administered questionnaire was sent to families who received care from a community children’s nursing and psychology team for children with non-malignant, life-limiting conditions. RESULTS: A total of 32 per cent of respondents had used up to seven types of CAM for their child and 43.4 per cent had used CAM for themselves or other family members. Most parents used CAM to enhance general wellbeing rather than treat specific diagnoses. A total of 58.3 per cent felt the therapy was helpful, 50 per cent had tried conventional medicine first, and 63.9 per cent of users discussed their use of CAM with a doctor or community nurse. CONCLUSION: The rate of CAM use is significantly higher in this population than found in many previous cross-sectional studies. This may reflect the different needs and expectations of families with children with non-malignant, life-limiting illnesses.