We describe the demographic, clinical, and laboratory characteristics of children with COVID 19 in comparison with those of not-laboratory-confirmed cases. We conducted a cross-sectional study on the epidemiological, clinical, radiological, and laboratory characteristics, and outcome of 422 children (aged 0–18 years) with suspected and confirmed COVID 19 admitted to the pediatric emergency department from March 23rd to July 23rd, 2020. Of the 422 children with suspected COVID-19 included in this study, COVID-19 was PCR-confirmed in 78 (18.4%). Fever (51.2%) and cough (43.5%) were the most prominent symptoms in children with confirmed cases. The clinical status of the patients with confirmed COVID-19 was significantly milder than that of those with suspected COVID-19. The proportion of COVID-19 pneumonia cases was 44.4%, 5.5%, 18.7%, and 8.5% for the age groups of ≤ 1, 2–6, 7–12, and ≥ 12 years, respectively. Of the 422 children, 128 (30.3%) underwent nasopharyngeal PCR testing for other respiratory viral pathogens; 21 (16.4%) were infected with viral pathogens other than severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus-2. Only one patient (4.7%) with confirmed COVID-19 had coinfection with respiratory syncytial virus and rhinovirus. The areas under the receiver-operating characteristics curves were 0.812 for WBCs, 0.752 for neutrophils, 0.717 for lactate dehydrogenase, and 0.708 for lymphocyte for predicting COVID-19 (p ≤ 0.001). Fever and cough or other clinical symptoms or signs should not be considered hallmarks of COVID 19. In this study, the WBC, neutrophil, and lymphocyte counts were predictive of COVID-19 positivity.