Childhood tuberculosis (TB) indicates a recent infection, particularly in children aged < 5 years, and therefore is considered a sentinel event insofar as it highlights the presence of an undiagnosed or untreated source case. The risk of acquiring TB is directly proportional to the number of bacilli to which a subject is exposed and the environment in which the contact occurred. This document contains the recommendations of a group of Italian scientific societies for managing a child exposed to a case of TB based on an analysis of the risk factors for acquiring latent tuberculous infection (LTBI) and developing the disease, and the particular aspects TB transmission during the first years of life. The guidance includes a detailed description of the methods used to identify the index case, the tests that the exposed child should receive and the possibilities of preventive chemoprophylaxis depending on the patient's age and immune status, the chemotherapy and monitoring methods indicated in the case of LTBI, the management of a child who has come into contact with a case of multidrug-resistant or extensively drug-resistant TB, and the use of molecular typing in the analysis of epidemics. The group of experts identified risk factors for tuberculous infection and disease in pediatric age as well as gave recommendation on management of contacts of cases of TB according to their age, risk factors and exposure to multidrug-resistant or extensively drug-resistant TB. © 2015 The Authors.