The diagnosis of primary hyperoxaluria in young children is hampered by the lack of a reliable reference range for urinary oxalate excretion, especially in infants. We present data on urinary oxalate and glycolate excretion in 137 normal children, on the plasma oxalate concentration in 33 normal children and 53 with chronic renal failure, and on amniotic fluid oxalate concentration in 63 uncomplicated pregnancies. The urinary oxalate:creatinine molar ratios were log normally distributed: mean (range) values were less than 1 year 0.061 (0.015-0.26), 1-5 years 0.036 (0.011-0.12), 5-12 years 0.030 (0.0059-0.15), and greater than 12 years 0.013 (0.0021-0.083). Geometric mean (range) plasma oxalate concentration in the normal children was 1.53 (0.78-3.02) mumols/l and was independent of age. The mean (SD) plasma oxalate: creatinine molar ratio in these normal children and 50 with chronic renal failure was 0.033 (0.013), and was independent of age and renal function. Mean (SD) amniotic fluid oxalate concentration was 19.0 (4.3) mumols/l.