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Hand drier phobia

(16 Posts)
blushingmare Wed 12-Nov-14 10:04:46

DD (2.6 years) is absolutely terrified of hand driers. So much so that she will refuse to go into a public toilet in case there in one in there and will wet herself if I don't have a potty to hand (take her for a wee on the grass - not always possible!)

I know this is a fairly common fear in toddlers and wondered if anyone had done anything that helped, or is it just a question of waiting for it to pass?!

whatsagoodusername Wed 12-Nov-14 10:10:53

Both my DC are scared of the hand driers at 3 and 4. They'll go in if it's not on, but if they hear it before I have to manhandle them inside.

I try to use the baby change toilets when I can, but obviously that's not always possible. I'm really hoping they outgrow it soon. I suppose they must at some point...

Rosa Wed 12-Nov-14 10:10:54

Mine at 6 will still do a runner if one goes off especially the dyson ones .... when we are going in . I carry a small flannel and promise that we will stay away from it after washing hands. Then I try to go in when it is off. What helped was her turning the hoover on and off an explaining that if you diddn't go near the hoover it couldn't eat you up .

Molotov Wed 12-Nov-14 10:13:34

Dd1 was very frightened by them at that age.

The best I could do was to explain that the drier was going to come on and make a loud noise ... but she didn't really understand and would burst onto fearful tears sad I stopped using the hand drier at that time; paper towels or loo roll to dry our hands back then.

Perhaps you could promise your LO that you will not use the drier? That the toilet must be used, but that you promise not to let the drier make that noise?

My dd eventually grew out of it by about 4yo (now 5.9yo). Dd2 is now 2.6yo and shows similar anxiety, but it's less and is normalised by her seeing her big sister using it. Plus, dd2 is a comple different kettle of fish - she's feisty whereas dd1 is more sensitive. Their reactions are different.

Good luck smile

PoppyWearer Wed 12-Nov-14 10:14:26

My 6yo is still a bit wary, especially with the Dyson ones, but has had to learn to deal with them as they have them in the school toilets.

I would say it was around 4-5yo that it got better.

If she is sensitive to other noises as well! and it doesn't improve say a year from now, and if it's an issue at pre-school, it will probably be worth a visit to the GP to ask for a hearing test before she starts school.

Molotov Wed 12-Nov-14 10:15:22

*into tears

blushingmare Wed 12-Nov-14 10:21:43

Thanks for responses. I've tried reasoning with her and promising that we won't use it, but as soon as she sees one there she absolutely freaks. I'm not talking toddler tantrum, but an absolute terror - it's quite upsetting to see her like it as she's obviously really scared. Yes she is anxious about the Hoover and the hair drier at home, but no where near as bad. Goodness, sounds like we've got it for much longer if your DC still have the fear at 4+!

MadMonkeys Wed 12-Nov-14 10:29:22

DD1 was the same, she is nearly 5 and in the last year it has improved. She is still not keen on hand driers but will go into public loos without freaking out. I think it's just something you have to wait to pass.

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtle Wed 12-Nov-14 10:37:49

have you tried going in first and telling her you've turned it off? this sometimes works with my dd. she's terrified of them too!

Molotov Wed 12-Nov-14 11:00:15

I would be inclined to have a little talk with her again when she's calm and alert and make the promise that you will not turn the hand drier on.

Maybe she could have a sweetie after having a wee in the toilet that a drier is in? Lots of verbal praise when she does go in one with a drier; lots of cuddles and 'well dones!'

You can't always avoid loos with driers and you can't let her wet herself. This is one for gentle coaxing/insistence, and massive rewards for partiality overcoming her fear.

Deelish75 Wed 12-Nov-14 13:19:36

DS has a hand dryer phobia. It was like terror that you described, also he doesn't do well with the Hoover, hair dryers, food mixers, the drill. It started at around the age of 2. When he was 4 our GP referred him to an audiologist who diagnosed fluid in his middle ear, "making the sound of the hand dryers echo around his ears causing him pain" (to quote the audiologist) At the moment his condition is just being monitored with a view to surgery when he is older.
He has a pair of ear defenders at school and we always take a pair when he goes out in case he needs the toilet. They have been a Godsend (especially on bonfire night) DS is really confident in going into public toilets now.

blushingmare Wed 12-Nov-14 21:55:53

Wow Deelish, really? I wonder if that could be it. I'd never even thought about it having a physical cause.

Twiceover Wed 12-Nov-14 22:20:19

DDs used to both refuse to use the toilet if they heard the hand drier. Much screaming and tears. For a while we could only use the disabled toilets (sorry everyone) and I'd explain it was only us in there and we weren't going to turn it on so we were safe.

Gradually the fear lessened over time. I think starting school helped as they have hand driers there but they are fairly quiet. We are able to use the ladies again but I have to agree not to use the hand drier although they are just about ok if others use them - hands over their ears. They are 5 now.

On the up, I really enjoy using the hand driers if I am out on my own now - little thingsgrin.

Stupidhead Wed 12-Nov-14 22:28:54

Oh I remember the days of this with DS1! I did actually turn the dryer off at the wall in one place so he'd go for a wee. Is your DD ok with hairdryers? Could you introduce those gently after a bath maybe? Or whenever you're doing your hair.

Fwiw, my DS is 17 now and I can't remember the last time I had to take him to the toilet but I think he's over it grin

Bedsheets4knickers Thu 13-Nov-14 14:10:01

My son had this , he still doesn't like them but at 4 I can talk him through it if one goes off whilst he's in loo. Could try a pair of ear muffs to muffle the sound a little x

TheBiggestDinosaur Thu 13-Nov-14 14:19:29

DD was the same. She still doesn't really like them.

What helped (at age 4) was seeing some other, slightly older girls happily using them. She will use them herself now, (but prefers not to!) - though she won't ever use the Dyson ones.

I used to just promise her we wouldn't use them - she would go in if they weren't being used at the time we opened the door.

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