In an earlier study [Muris, P., Merckelbach, H., Mayer, B., & Prins, E. (1999). How serious are common childhood fears? Behaviour Research and Therapy, in press.], the severity of common childhood fears was explored by means of a structured child interview measuring specific phobias as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It was found that in a substantial minority of the children, specific fears reflect clinically significant phobias. The present study examined further the connection between childhood fears and specific phobias by interviewing children's parents. The Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children was administered to the parents of 160 children aged 4-12 years. In line with our previous study, results indicate that a sizable proportion of children (i.e. 17.6%) met the full criteria for specific phobia.