The influence of genetic variation on warfarin dose requirement is limited for paediatric patients. We performed a retrospective, cross-sectional study to examine the effect of variant CYP2C9 and VKORC1 genotypes on warfarin dose in 100 children. Those with VKORC1 genotype AA required 48% of the dose of homozygous wild-type (GG, P < 0·0001). Patients with any variant CYP2C9 allele required 71% of the dose for wild-type (P = 0·001). The effect of variant VKORC1 alleles tended to vary with age, suggesting developmental ontogeny may influence warfarin sensitivity. Age, CYP2C9 genotype, VKORC1 genotype and age:VKORC1 interaction accounted for 53% of warfarin dose variability.