This paper summarises and updates the report of one of the seven Expert Working Groups established by the UK’s Health Education Authority (HEA) in October 1996 to look at the potential for health promotion with key populations – in this case that of children and young people. It seeks to establish a revitalised agenda for research into the health and wellbeing of children and young people in the UK. The article describes how contemporary sociological understandings of children and childhood have implications not only for the way in which health and health promotion strategies are conceived, designed and implemented, but for our understanding of what health and health promotion initiatives should constitute. The article calls for more research into children’s and young people’s understandings of health, and the linguistic idioms in which those understandings are expressed, as well as into the social networks and social action spaces in which children and young people operate. It argues for better integration of research and policies concerning the health of children and young people, to include institutions, agencies and organisations that have an impact on the health of children and young people.