Objective. To determine the differences in quality of life between children with sickle cell disease and healthy immigrant children. Design. Descriptive, comparative. Method. The quality of life of children with sickle cell disease between 5 and 15 years old being treated in the Emma Children's Hospital AMC in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, was assessed by using a questionnaire for parents (TNO-AZL Children's Quality of Life Questionnaire (TACQOL) parent form) if the child was between 5 and 11 years old and a questionnaire for children (TACQOL child form) if the child was between 8 and 15 years old. The study period was April-October 1998. The questionnaires were completed by 45 (parents of) patients. The results were compared with a healthy reference group of immigrant children. Statistical analysis was performed using the Student t-Test. Results. Children with sickle cell disease as well as their parents scored significantly lower on the items general physical, motor and independent daily functioning and on occurrence of negative emotions. No significance was observed for the items cognitive functioning and school performance nor for social functioning or occurrence of positive emotions. Conclusion. In children, sickle cell disease leads to compromised physical and possibly also psychological wellbeing, as well as the experience of decreased independence in daily functioning, but not to compromised cognitive or social aspects of the quality of life.