Thoracic computed tomography (CT) is the imaging reference method in the diagnosis, assessment and management of lung disease. In the setting of cystic fibrosis (CF), CT demonstrates increased sensitivity compared with pulmonary function tests and chest radiography, and findings correlate with clinical outcomes. Better understanding of the aetiology of CF lung disease indicates that even asymptomatic infants with CF can have irreversible pulmonary pathology. Surveillance and early diagnosis of lung disease in CF are important to preserve lung parenchyma and to optimise long-term outcomes. CF is associated with increased cumulative radiation exposure due to the requirement for repeated imaging from a young age. Radiation dose optimisation, important for the safe use of CT in children with CF, is best achieved in a team environment where paediatric radiologists work closely with paediatric respiratory physicians, physicists and radiography technicians to achieve the best patient outcomes. Despite the radiation doses incurred, CT remains a vital imaging tool in children with CF. Radiologists with special interests in CT dose optimisation and respiratory disease are key to the appropriate use of CT in paediatric imaging. Paediatric radiologists strive to minimise radiation dose to children whilst providing the best possible assessment of lung disease.