Venous thromboembolism [TE] is a multifactorial disease and protein C deficiency [PCD] constitutes a major risk factor. In the present study the prevalence of PCD and the clinical presentation at TE onset, including neonatal purpura fulminans, in a cohort of children are reported. In 367 unselected children (0·1-19 years) recruited between July 1996 and December 2013, a comprehensive thrombophilia screening was performed along with recording of anamnestic data. Twenty-five of 338 children (7·4%) had PCD. Mean age at first TE onset was 10 years (range 0·1-18). Leading thromboembolic manifestations were neonatal purpura fulminans (n = 5), TE of cerebral veins (n = 3), stroke (n = 2) deep veinthrombosis (DVT) of the leg (n = 10), DVT & pulmonary embolism (n = 2) and DVT & pelvic veins (n = 3). Concomitant risk factors for TE were identified in 12 patients, whereas 13 children spontaneously developed TE. A positive family history of DVT was found in 10 children. In this unselected cohort of paediatric patients with symptomatic TE the overall prevalence of PCD was 7·4%; 1·5% presented with neonatal purpura fulminans. Given its clinical implication for patients and family members, thrombophilia testing should be performed and the benefit of medical or educational interventions should be evaluated in this high-risk population.