Human rhinovirus (HRV) infections are now widely accepted as the commonest cause of acute respiratory illnesses (ARIs) in children. Advanced PCR techniques have enabled HRV infections to be identified as causative agents in most common ARIs in childhood including bronchiolitis, acute asthma, pneumonia and croup. However, the long-term implications of rhinovirus infections are less clear. The aim of this review is to examine the relationship between rhinovirus infections and disorders of the lower airways in childhood. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.