The purpose of this study was to measure out-of-field organ doses in clinical conditions in anthropomorphic paediatric phantoms which received a simulated treatment of a brain tumour with intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and 3D conformal radiotherapy (3D CRT). Organ doses measured with radiophotoluminescent and thermoluminescent dosemeters were on average 1.6 and 3.0 times higher for the 5 y-old than for the 10 y-old phantom for IMRT and 3D CRT, respectively. A larger 5-y to 10-y organ dose ratio for 3D CRT can be explained because the use of a mechanical wedge for the 5-y-old 3D CRT phantom treatment increased out-of-field doses. Due to different configurations of the radiation fields, for both phantoms, the IMRT technique resulted in a higher non-target brain dose and higher eye doses but lower thyroid doses compared to 3D CRT. For 3D CRT (which used a non-coplanar field configuration), eye doses were 3-6% and for IMRT (which used a coplanar field configuration) 27-30% of the treatment dose, respectively. For thyroid and more distant organs, doses were less than 1% of the treatment dose. Comparison of measured doses and doses calculated by the treatment planning system (TPS) showed that the TPS underestimated out-of-field doses both for IMRT and 3D CRT.