Abstract Background: Most guidelines on COVID-19 published so far include recommendations for patients regardless of age. Clinicians need a more accurate understanding of the clinical characteristics of children with COVID-19. Methods: We searched studies reporting clinical characteristics in children with COVID-19 published until March 31, 2020. We screened the literature, extracted the data and evaluated the risk of bias and quality of evidence of the included studies. We combined some of the outcomes (symptoms) in a single-arm meta-analysis using a random-effects model. Results: Our search retrieved 49 studies, including 25 case reports, 23 case series and one cohort study, with a total of 1667 patients. Our meta-analysis showed that most children with COVID-19 have mild symptoms. Eighty-three percent of the children were within family clusters of cases, and 19% had no symptoms. At least 7% with digestive symptoms. The main symptoms of children were fever (48%, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 39%, 56%) and cough (39%, 95% CI: 30%, 48%). The lymphocyte count was below normal level in only 15% [95% CI: 8%, 22%] of children which is different from adult patients. 66% [95% CI: 55%, 77%] of children had abnormal findings in CT imaging. Conclusions: Most children with COVID-19 have only mild symptoms, and many children are asymptomatic. Fever and cough are the most common symptoms in children. Vomiting and diarrhea were not common in children. The lymphocyte count is usually within the normal range in children.