In this paper we provide a model and data structure to identify the determinants of health care use by low income children, and the channels through which they operate. The most distinguishing feature of our approach is that we decompose the decision to use health care into three stages. The advantage of our approach is that variables can influence each stage differently. We find that children living in towns with higher prevalence of violence are in higher need of health care but violence decreases the probability that the child will use health care conditional of the mother perceiving that health care will provide positive gross benefits. We also find that knowledge about self-care (measured by the percentage of women in the village that knows how to treat diarrhoea and by mother’s education) decreases the probability that the mother perceives positive gross profits of obtaining health care. These relations are unmasked if we use a standard Probit model.