Acute respiratory infections (ARI) are the major worldwide health problem due to associated high morbidity and mortality rates. Adenovirus (Adv) is one of the most common causes of viral ARI, and thus calls for specific diagnosis and better understanding of the epidemiology and clinical characteristics. Our aims were to find out the status of Adv infection in children <14 years with ARI, analyze the epidemiology and clinical characteristics among the Adv-infected children in Guangzhou, China, and to provide some basis for the research of Adv. The throat and pharyngeal swabs were collected among the children with acute respiratory tract infections in outpatient department from September 2006 to August 2008. The samples were analyzed by PCR and the sequences were blasted with the sequences of Adv in GenBank. Clinical data were analyzed along with virological data by using appropriate statistical methods. Adv was detected in 25 out of 512 (4.9%) children. The genome types of 23 samples were determined after analysis of the gene sequence. The most prevalent Adv type was species B type 3. Among the patients, 10 were of Ad3 (43.5%), three were of Ad1 (1.3%), five were of species C Ad2 (21.7%), and five were of species E Ad4 (21.7%). A higher incidence of positive results was found during the summer season, thus showing a pattern of seasonality. There exists Adv infection in children with acute respiratory system diseases in Guangzhou area. No significant differences were found among different age groups and gender groups. Co-infections with other respiratory virus were detected in 64% of the Adv positive samples.