The majority of children with Down syndrome (DS) develop Alzheimer's disease (AD) at an early age. Although long-chain n-3 fatty acids (FA) are protective of neurodegeneration, little is known about the FA status in DS. In the present study, we aimed to investigate whether children with DS presented altered plasma and erythrocyte membrane phospholipids (PL) FA composition, when compared with their non-affected siblings. Venous blood samples were analysed for plasma and erythrocyte membrane FA composition by TLC followed by GC techniques. Lipid molecular species were determined by electrospray ionisation/tandem MS (ESI-MS/MS). FA analysis measured by standard GC showed an increased concentration of MUFA and a decreased concentration of plasmalogens in major PL fractions, but there were no differences in the concentrations of arachidonic acid or DHA. However, as identified by ESI-MS/MS, children with DS had increased levels of the following erythrocyte PL molecular species: 16 : 0–16 : 0, 16 : 0–18 : 1 and 16 : 0–18 : 2n-6, with reduced levels of 16 : 0–20 : 4n-6 species. Children with DS presented significantly higher levels of MUFA in both plasma and erythrocyte membrane, as well as higher levels of saturated and monounsaturated molecular species. Of interest was the almost double proportion of 16 : 0–18 : 2n-6 and nearly half the proportion of 16 : 0–20 : 4n-6 of choline phosphoacylglycerol species in children with DS compared with their non-affected siblings. These significant differences were only revealed by ESI-MS/MS and were not observed in the GC analysis. Further investigations are needed to explore molecular mechanisms and to test the association between the pathophysiology of DS and the risk of AD.