This paper is one of two briefings that make use of early data from Round 3 of the Young Lives survey of children growing up in Ethiopia, India (in the state of Andhra Pradesh), Peru and Vietnam. This briefing explores the extent and effects of economic and environmental shocks and adverse events on Young Lives and children and their households. These events include price rises, falls in output prices, drought, flooding and family illness and death. The global crisis provides the background to much of the current debate but we demonstrate here that shocks were commonly experienced before the current crisis began. We explore which households are most at risk of shocks and draw out policy implications for those concerned to mitigate the effects of future shocks on children.