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Hand dryer fear

(25 Posts)
KellyElly Wed 20-Feb-13 13:20:07

My 3.3 year old is the same and has wet herself rather than go to public toilets before. I usually have to take her to the disabled one and even then she freaks. I was hoping to hear that this would be a distant memory by 4 but judging from this thread we may have years more of it sad

Poubelle Wed 20-Feb-13 01:38:14

My 3.6 yo DD is exactly the same with hand-dryers too! How reassuring to find so many other children have the same issue. She will tolerate public loos and seems to accept now that though she will not use one, other people may.

We live in the US and doesn't help that most public loos are self-flushing ones on a sensor! So the past year has been about battling the flush AND the hand dryer. She's coming through it now though, but still very edgy and anxious in public loos.

Who knew a bathroom could pose such an obstacle course....

notwoo Tue 19-Feb-13 22:39:36

They do make a horrible noise - I'm sure he'll come round. My daughter is just about tolerating them at nearly 4.

She used to leave the kitchen when I put the hand blender or mixer on but will stand and watch now.

Similarly the hairdryer - used to hate it - now begs to use it.

Strangely we accidentally ended up at a v loud airshow when she was 2ish and she loved it. Must be a specific pitch that they hate.

tazmo Tue 19-Feb-13 22:34:38

My 4.5 year old is the same - still asks me not to put the hand dryers on. He is used to hair dryers and big machines that clean the pool - odd! Think he's over the worst! T

redandyellowandpinkandgreen Mon 18-Feb-13 17:56:29

I came on to post something similar so it's reassuring to hear it's very common. DS cries in any public loo and begs me not to wash my hands and the incident that scared him was a good 5 months ago.

YoungHelga Sun 17-Feb-13 19:29:12

My twins are also very scared of all the new high speed hand dryers, particularly the new Dyson Airblade V that have started popping up in all the service stations. Several going off at once really shook them up!

I actually took them into my old workplace to show them off and they have fitted something called the Stealthforce hand dryer that started smoothly and was very quiet but still fast, maybe if you run a nursery or anywhere that a lot of small children access then these hand dryers be a good idea, to stop scaring our little ones.

threefeethighandrising Sun 05-Jun-11 22:28:53

I used to be absolutely terrified of the sound of the toilet flushing when I was little. I got over it eventually and it didn't do me any harm (am a confident well-adjusted adult now!). I don't know what scared me about the noise, but I found it genuinely terrifying.

I can relate to him not minding the lawn mower but disliking washing machines etc, it's a different kind of noise. FWIW to this day I find white noise intensely irritating, and also the sound of the hoover. But lawn mowers? No problem! That's a nice noise. grin

dikkertjedap Sat 16-Apr-11 20:54:43

Very normal, especially with the Dyson ones. He will grow over his fears but it might take a little while. For quite a while I always had a towel in my handbag so dd could use towel rather than having to use hand driers. Try to use the disabled toilet for a while because then at least he won't have a scare of other people using hand driers whilst he is using the toilet.

LifeInTheSlowLane Sat 16-Apr-11 16:33:54

We have had the same problem - the worst being the hand dryers that start automatically. Even using the disabled loos, when you are squeezed into a cubicle with two young children, someone is going to end up standing too near the blooming thing and setting it off! DS2 has Aspergers and reacts really badly to sudden noises. But it does get better eventually - he's just turned 7 and when I took him out yesterday we went into one of those cafes where there is only one loo with the dryer on the wall. I stood too close and it started but he was fine - that was a massive milestone for us grin. Now, I just need to work on getting him to use the loos that have the automatic flush ... he's afraid it will go off while he's on the loo and flush him away [sigh]

sleepingsowell Sat 16-Apr-11 16:28:57

oh and btw my DS is 8 and still hates them! won't use them but can bear it if he hears them now.

sleepingsowell Sat 16-Apr-11 16:27:31

Use the disabled loo so that there is no chance of the dryer being on. A quick visit with a desperate two year old who can't use a public loo otherwise is IMO a good enough reason to nip in there. Shouldn't inconvenience anyone too much and will mean he can get used to public loos again.

Meglet Sat 16-Apr-11 16:04:13

DS is 4.5 and only just got used to hand dryers, I managed to get him to use a air-blade for the first time the other day. His little sister is still freaked out by them.

Cymar Sat 16-Apr-11 16:01:49

Our DD used to hate any dryer until I soaked my hair under the tap, shook my head about underneath and dried it off with the dryer. I made it look fun and she very quickly wanted a go. She's never been afraid of hand-dryers since, in fact, I've usually got to prise her away as she like to mess around with them.

LakeFlyPie Fri 15-Apr-11 22:07:01

Thanks very much for all your replies.

It's good to know DS is not alone in his fear. Such a shame the Dyson dryer has freaked him so much as he used to have great fun drying his hands / face / hair.

Interesting what you say WindUpBird about the super sensitive toddler hearing, he does seem to pick up every tiny noise.
Strangely his sense of smell seems pretty acute too, every other question most days is either "What's that noise?" or "What's that smell" grin

Some really helpful tips which I will try to get over the public toilet issue, am currently travelling with potty which can be used in emergencies.

BeakerTheMuppetMuppet Fri 15-Apr-11 21:03:05

DD 3.10 hates them too...won't use one and used to panic and jump if one went off

we take a little bottle of hand sanitizer out with us now, she's not as scared of the noise but no way will she use 'that noisy thing'

sharbie Fri 15-Apr-11 21:01:50

ds used to be scared too - they do grow out of it.we just avoided - carry tissues for hand drying.

Pkam Fri 15-Apr-11 20:58:52

We have to go to the disabled toilet if that's an option so DD1 (4.6) can see the hand dryer at all times and therefore knows she isn't going to be surprised by the noise if someone uses it while she's in a cubicle. If we have to use a cubicle she'll wee with her hands over her ears at all times just in case hmm

Although small breakthrough this week as she has used hand dryer in a couple of toilets without prompting (not a Dyson). There is hope.

Grockle Fri 15-Apr-11 19:16:24

My 5 yr old still hates them. He washes his hands and runs grin

schmee Fri 15-Apr-11 18:43:16

All children seem to hate the Dysons. It's a horrible noise. I hate them too in fact. We don't use them.

Think FGM and LittleMissGReen have good advice though.

Tiggles Fri 15-Apr-11 11:53:16

My 2 elder DSs are both hypersensitive to loud noises. I found that with handdriers that getting them to count to 20 (or if not old enough to, to wait whilst you count to 20) and the hand drier will have turned off. Knowing that the noise would end within a set time, made a big difference.

FGM Fri 15-Apr-11 08:59:26

My DD1 hates them too- normal hand driers as well as the dysons. She's 4yo. They are quite a loud un-natural sound and children's hearing is more acute than ours. She puts her hands on her ears if she hears one and I avoid using them. It hasn't stopped us going into public toilets. Perhaps your DS can put his hands on his ears if he's frightened? I think it's important to acknowledge the fear but to also acknowledge that they exist, people use them and they won't hurt him. Can you tell him it's like a hairdryer- show him your hairdryer <gently- my DD also dislikes hair dryers> at home and explain how it works and makes a sound like a big wind and that it makes the wind hot etc... compare it to the hand dryers. Hopefully he will understand that he's not in danger and that may take away a bit of his fear. He probably still won't like the sound though.

WindUpBird Fri 15-Apr-11 08:37:35

My DD was terrified of all hand dryers and hair dryers for years! And those Dyson ones are the worst. Since starting school (where they have hand dryers) she has been fine (though still won't let me use one), but there are a few others in her class who need a friend to take them to the toilet as they too are scared of the dryers! Obviously a very common fear. Sorry I don't really have any advice as I just promised DD that every time we went to a public toilet I wouldn't use the dryer. I used to get unreasonably cross with others who used them while we were there as it would make her cry!!
My friend's 2.5 year old has suddenly become terrified of sirens, even very far away ones, motorbikes and cars. Maybe there is a development in a toddlers' ears at this stage that makes them super-sensitive to certain kinds of noise?

DoodleAlley Fri 15-Apr-11 06:59:15

My DS was petrified of them at 2 but is a little happier now at 2.5 since he became potty trained and got to use little versions of the normal hand driers but the dyson ones still scare him. Tbh they are very very loud.

Now DS us hugely into bring a "big boy@ so if yours us the same you could show him big boys using the hand driers? But start in the old style ones not the jet-engine strength dyson ones!!!

ohmeohmy Fri 15-Apr-11 06:44:43

Quite common to hate those dryers, they are very loud. Neither of mine will use them but will go into the toilets. Think it will just be slow reassurance and readjustment and persuasion. If he is really adamant try ear defenders for when you need to go into the loo. They might make him feel safer. Remember that as annoying as it might be this was and still is a strong fear response for him that he can't help.

LakeFlyPie Thu 14-Apr-11 23:06:44

DS (2.10) is usually pretty easy going and confident but had a scare which involved a trip to a public toilet which had a Dyson Air Blade hand dryer. He wasn't warned beforehand about the loud noise and got a huge fright.

Although his scare has been acknowledged and he's been reassured that noises can't hurt him, he is currently refusing to go into public toilets in case there is a hand dryer (was previously fine about using them).

This fear of noises seems to be extending to other noisy machines e.g. washing machines and I'm think we need to deal with the hand dryer fear before it becomes a general noise issue.
He does seem to have a genuine fear reaction (had tears and pounding heart yesterday at the sight of a (non operating) washing machine in relatives utility room).

Strangely he is completely unconcerned by his grandfather's very noisy petrol lawnmower and asks if he can help mow grass at every visit.

Any advice on dealing with the hand dryer phobia would be much appreciated as it's making trips out a bit difficult (he insists on wee-ing al fresco instead of using public toilets which isn't always going to be an option).


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