The purpose of the study was to provide normative data for the Teddy Bear Cancellation Test (TBCT) and to evaluate prospectively the frequency of unilateral spatial neglect (USN) in children with acquired brain injury (ABI). In the control group (n=419; 218 males, 201 females; mean age 5y 1mo [SD 1y 4mo]; range 3 to 8y) omissions were rare and decreased with age. A left displacement of the first three teddy bears cancelled was observed with increasing age. This preferential left-to-right cancelling strategy was interpreted as learned under the influence of reading habits. The same test was used prospectively in 41 children with ABI (24 males, 17 females; mean age 5y 5mo [SD 2y]; range 3 to 8y) admitted to a paediatric rehabilitation department specializing in acquired brain lesions. In patients and controls, children under 6 years of age omitted more items than older children. The localization of omissions was skewed significantly to the left in children with right-sided lesions compared with children with left-sided lesions. USN was observed in seven patients with ABI. Left USN was found in three of the 10 patients with right-sided ABI. Right USN was present in two of the patients with 15 left-sided ABI and two of the 16 patients with non-lateralized ABI. Left USN is frequent in children after right-sided brain injury. The relatively high incidence of right spatial neglect in children is discussed in relation to the development of hemispheric specialization.