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To see if I can get hold of a eurokey?

(33 Posts)
ToKeyOrNotToKey Fri 31-Jul-15 10:56:29

DS is 5. He is petrified of hand dryers, for no apparent reason that he can tell us. He is getting better, but he will not go in a public toilet if there is a hand dryer in there. I have always had to go and check if there are paper towels first. He has improved (I can usually catch him before he runs, but has been known to panic and run out of a fire exit straight into a road before) and will now go into a single toilet if there is one so long as I constantly remind him he doesn't have to use it. DD is only recently out of nappies, so until two weeks ago, I used the disabled one as as that was where the changing tables are.

When he runs, I used to abandon the buggy and chase him. He panics, doesn't respond to being called, but now I often don't have the younger one in the buggy so it's more complicated.

now, I don't know what to do. More and more places are switching to hand dryers. If there are only a couple of cubicles I wait outside and ask anyone coming in not to use it until we are gone, but this is not always possible, especially in larger facilities. Increasingly, places are switching to locking the disabled toilets with a eurokey. The supermarket, for example, which is where we always eat when out in town have now moved the changing mats into the main toilets and locked the single toilet. I ended up having to ask the manager to let us in because DS was desperate and couldn't go in the main toilets. (Even if I manage to get him in, he is usually in such a state he can't do anything anyway). Manager made clear it was an exception.

Would I be totally unreasonable to apply for a special key if I can get the doctor to write us a letter?

ButterflyUpSoHigh Fri 31-Jul-15 10:57:58

Do you mean a radar key? If so you cab get one from ebay or amazon

Houseworkavoider Fri 31-Jul-15 11:00:52

Can't you use reins to prevent the bolting?
My ds was terrified by hand dryers at that age. It turned out he heeded grommets. Could be worth haveing him checked for glue ear.

RepeatAdNauseum Fri 31-Jul-15 11:01:24

You can buy a radar key from eBay or Amazon, which will open the disabled toilets.

It's worth noting that there is now guidance suggesting that all disabled toilets should be fitted with handdryers for hygiene reasons, so you'll find that they start appearing as businesses make the change. That might not matter if it's only people using them that upsets him (and not the sight of the unit itself), but it's worth knowing.

Have you considered counselling for him? It sounds like quite a severe phobia and dealing with it at school could be problematic.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Fri 31-Jul-15 11:07:39

The solution is not to block up the single accessible facility but to resolve your child's problem with the dryers.

Is it just hand driers he is afraid of or hoovers and hair dryers?

ToKeyOrNotToKey Fri 31-Jul-15 11:10:39

He is going for a hearing test in a couple of weeks. I guess it must be the German equivalent of a radar key. (I assumed from the info I found that it was used in whole of Europe, but it seems not!)

He's 5. I can hardly put reins on him!

He has improved, so that he will go into a toilet with a hand dryer if I can guarantee that it won't be used. It has taken a long time to get to that stage, especially as you can usually hear the hand dryers from the main toilets in the disabled one. Fortunately at school they only have paper towels. I'm not sure what use counselling would be when he can't tell us why he doesn't like them. He has always been like this, crying uncontrollably when I was changing his nappy as a tiny baby if someone used one.

ToKeyOrNotToKey Fri 31-Jul-15 11:12:52

Loves hoovers. Uncertain about hair dryers. Doesn't mind when DH turns it on at home, but rarely lets us use it on him. Out at the hair dressers he will bolt if he hears a dryer or clippers turned on. If we use a drill at home, you'd think it was the end of the world...

FanSpamTastic Fri 31-Jul-15 11:13:16

I think you need to tackle the issue with the dryers. Is he sensitive to other noises too? My son also hated hands driers when younger - but he also had a problem with hair driers, vacuum cleaners, fireworks and people singing to him at birthday parties. He had quite sensitive hearing and would get very upset at all of the above and try to run away from the noise. But he has grown out of it now (now 9). If your son has very sensitive hearing them maybe some ear plugs could help take the edge off or even headphones when he is out and about?

RepeatAdNauseum Fri 31-Jul-15 11:13:21

He doesn't need to explain why he doesn't like them - I wasn't even asked when I had phobia counselling. For me, I had exposure therapy, but I was older. For my little sister, who was 3/4, they used puppets and child therapy techniques to talk about it and encourage and reward interaction with the object of phobia. I had no faith that it'd work, but it did, and it's lasted (she's 17 now).

It's up to you though, I just thought it might be worth looking into with your GP because it could be quite limiting.

PeterParkerSays Fri 31-Jul-15 11:13:47

Is he scared of using them or hearing them? Is he ok in the loo if they go off when he's in the loo because someone else is drying their hands?

I just wonder whether giving him some hand gel to clean his hands when he uses public toilets, rather than washing them, would help reduce the tension for now, then you could look at why he doesn't like the driers' noise once he's a bit calmer.

CharlesRyder Fri 31-Jul-15 11:15:09

Have you tried ear defenders in the toilets?

ToKeyOrNotToKey Fri 31-Jul-15 11:19:54

I have never said he has to use them Peter. If there is a dryer present he will now go in if I give him an alternative, (towel, my shirt) and can stop anyone else from using one. thanks to the utter cow who just shrugged and used it anyway without giving us a chance to get out and set us back about 10 months worth of progress If he can hear one go off it stresses him so much that he can't do anything if he is already on the toilet or he panics and bolts if he is not.

He won't wear ear plugs.

sticklebrickstickle Fri 31-Jul-15 11:20:40

In my mind accessible toilets are for people who are not able to comfortably and practically use any other toilets provided, usually due to a disability or health condition.

It sounds like your son is not able to comfortably and practically use the normal toilets in most places due to the hand dryers due to his phobia which sounds so severe as to be debilitating in these times.

If you can get a euro key I think you are well within your rights to use one for him.

bec3105 Fri 31-Jul-15 11:20:43

How about an iPod and headphones when he has to use a toilet with hand driers?
You can get ones that totally block out outside noise and he could listen to his favourite song.
Just don't drop it down the toilet!

dynevoran Fri 31-Jul-15 11:27:22

I think you would be within your rights to get and use a key in the short term as he is severely affected by his phobia and unable to use normal toilets.

But I think that's not the solution at all...Just a temporary aid while you help him work through his phobia. You would be doing him a disservice to not go to the gp and get a referral to someone who is able to professionally help him. It's not fair to let him grow up without attempting to help him overcome this rather than just avoid it.

CharlesRyder Fri 31-Jul-15 11:27:37

Ear defenders are quite different to ear plugs. He could cover them in his favourite stickers.

Here

ToKeyOrNotToKey Fri 31-Jul-15 11:27:53

Great idea bec but he won't listen to any music and won't put anything in his ears. If I put radio/cd on he cries until it goes off if he's in a bad mood or takes himself off to his room until it's turned off.

LurkingHusband Fri 31-Jul-15 11:28:52

RADAR keys are usually on sale at your local shopmobility.

Asuperwittyquip Fri 31-Jul-15 11:31:08

I think ear defenders would be the best stopgap, explain to him they make everything quieter. I really think a trip to the doctors is in order though as it sounds like he has lots of issues with sound in general.

ToKeyOrNotToKey Fri 31-Jul-15 11:36:48

Ive been waiting for nearly two years for a referral for hearing test. Finally have appointment in a few weeks. I have tried ear defenders, although not for a while, but he won't wear anything over his ears (or eyes) if he can help it. Hats/hood are an ongoing battle.

IamtheDevilsAvocado Fri 31-Jul-15 11:38:09

Deffo trip to the GP - he may well grow out of it-but it MAY worsen, and generalise to even more stimuli.

Ask for a referral to CAMHS- or any CBT therapist specialist who works with kids.

With any treatment he won't need to verbalise the reasons- they will just work on helping him tolerate noise , in a gentle progressive way, possibly by using puppets and going to the places where je has these difficulties.

Asuperwittyquip Fri 31-Jul-15 11:39:28

You poor thing, it must be really difficult for you.

IamtheDevilsAvocado Fri 31-Jul-15 11:39:41

I would be amazed if it took more than a few sessions to help significantly

CharlesRyder Fri 31-Jul-15 11:45:11

He is old enough now for you to explain how they will help so maybe he will accept them when he understands.

Sounds like a sensory processing issue rather than a phobia to me. Does he have other sensory issues (clothes, foods etc)? If so, it would be an OT you would need for advice.

Garlick Fri 31-Jul-15 11:54:23

Is it this? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperacusis

Hope he does better with defenders this time! Good luck.

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