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Terrified of Hand Dryers

(22 Posts)
HLBug Mon 09-Oct-17 15:20:50

Wondering if anyone has found a way of convincing a small child that hand driers are not in fact the scariest thing in the world. DS(3) is utterly terrified and will actually shake with fear at the thought of having to go into a public toilet - even if he is desperate for a wee, or his baby sister needs a nappy change etc. Any top tips? This has been going on for a while now.

MissFlashpants Mon 09-Oct-17 15:24:15

My son was like this. I think it’s one of those things where you just have to act breezy, jolly them along and show them it’s fine. They’re not avoidable unless you never use public toilets so the only way to get used to it get used to it!

NotAPuffin Mon 09-Oct-17 15:40:16

Both of mine were like this. I actually have a photo of DD using a hand dryer for the first time - it was a month before her seventh birthday! DS still hasn't and he's nearly 6. He still puts his hands over his ears in public loos but he's not as scared as he used to be.

I think you just have to play it down and get on with it.

pinksummer Mon 09-Oct-17 16:04:21

My DS started to become afraid. I told him not to be so silly, you can roar louder than a hand dryer! So for a few weeks that’s what he did. Him roaring was less awkward than him freaking out if someone looked like they were about to use a dryer.

xrayyankeezulu Mon 09-Oct-17 16:07:19

DD has just gone 4 & although she's not as scared of them as she used to be she's still wary & wouldn't use one. I think it's just one of those things that gets better over time, she used to be petrified & scream the place down!! Or I had to carry her past me them. Tbh though some of them are so bloody loud, those dyson ones must be terrifying to a child.

PoppyPopcorn Mon 09-Oct-17 16:09:11

My oldest was like this, totally petrified of them. (He's over it now, but he is 14...)

We got him over it by playing with the hairdryer at home, once he'd got used to the noise and hot air hitting him he could cope more easily with the hand dryers in the loos.

CherieBabySpliffUp Mon 09-Oct-17 16:11:53

My DD was like this. She soon grew out of it as will your DS flowers

squishysquirmy Mon 09-Oct-17 16:16:38

dd used to be, but isn't anymore. Once when the toilets were very quiet, I encouraged her to play with the hand drier there, complete with us both doing stupid impressions of what it sounded like blush, and lots of "wow! What a brave girl!" etc Yeah, I felt like an idiot but it made her less scared of them! That and seeing other kids use them has made her not scared of them anymore. Start with the quieter ones maybe? Some driers are better than others. The dyson ones sound like a jet engine taking off, I completely understand why children hate them!

LegoCaltrops Mon 09-Oct-17 16:18:15

DD was like this. We went on holiday last year & one of the toilets in a cafe had the quietest (& worst) hand drier ever, but it went a long way toward convincing her that they weren't scary! She's still not massively keen but these days she tends to shout, roar, dance & generally act silly when she uses them. Sometimes I still have to put my hands over her ears, & she still won't use the "air-blade" type, but we're getting there... she's 5.6 btw.

fishybits Mon 09-Oct-17 16:19:24

DD was like this.

I totally ignored it and didn't acknowledge that she had a problem with the noise at all. She finally used a hand dryer for the first time two weeks ago, she's 5.

unlimiteddilutingjuice Mon 09-Oct-17 16:20:30

Oh jeez we had this for years. You have my sympathies.
I used to let him do "tree wee's" whenever possible.
And if unavoidable we would all shout "SILLY OLD HANDDRIER!" at the top of our voices to drown it out.
DS is over it now and I never, ever set off a handdrier in any toilet with a toddler in it without checking in with the Mum.

Ttbb Mon 09-Oct-17 16:22:59

In the same boat. DS(also three) is also terrified of windowless rooms, I.e. Public toilets. Always has been for some reason. We found that it helped to just bring him in every time went went and telling him stories etc to distract him. He still won't go sometimes though.

sunnyday1976 Mon 09-Oct-17 16:36:33

My DS hated them too. Still does a bit and he’s 10! It’s got worse due to driers being really noisy (and quick and efficient!!) now. He did have a period of being OK with them when he was about 5. It started when we were at a family wedding and his older cousin was drying his hands and he realised hand driers must be cool!!

HLBug Mon 09-Oct-17 17:21:41

Ok, so we're not alone. That's nice to know smile Thanks everyone for sharing. I like the roaring idea, will definitely try that. The Dyson or powerdry ones are the worst as they're the noisiest.

lettuceWrap Mon 09-Oct-17 17:42:47

DS (6) was terrified of them at 3 (he has ASD although it wasn't diagnosed at that age). What worked for him was a breezy approach, walking in to the toilets with him and switching on a drier before we went into a cubicle. At first he hated this, but I think the anticipation of someone switching it on unexpectedly was the scary thing and he didn't react so badly if the drier had already been switched on by me.
After a while, he started to switch them on himself. He loves the noise now shock

HLBug Mon 09-Oct-17 17:54:09

Thanks lettuce that's another idea - cruel to be kind almost.

HLBug Mon 09-Oct-17 17:54:40

^ another good idea that should read

Paperdolly Mon 09-Oct-17 18:04:15

My friends daughter went through this. Her mum took hand towels out with her until she asked to use the hand dryer. It didn't take too long.

SilverLinings2014 Wed 11-Oct-17 21:14:16

My DD, almost 3, had been like this for a while. I have been encouraging her to put her hands over her ears to lessen the sound and we are now at a point where she will let me dry my hands whilst she does this. And she is quite proud of herself too!
She still won't use a dryer though and it's a challenge if the facilities are large and busy (service stations etc) because there is so much noise and activity it's overwhelming for her. In those instances I try to use the disabled toilet if available where she is much calmer.

BertieBotts Wed 11-Oct-17 21:17:06

DS used to be terrified! I can't remember what we did but he definitely grew out of it.

Ohwoolballs Wed 11-Oct-17 21:21:22

I had to stick my head under the super sonic fan ones in the IKEA loos to show my eighteen month old how much "fun" they were and not scary.
I spent the rest of the walk around the shop looking like I'd been dragged through a hedge.

HeyRoly Wed 11-Oct-17 21:23:02

My daughter was like this. We ended up having to let her use the potty outside the toilets because she would not set foot inside. I cringe at the memory! It was so awful but she was utterly terrified.

By the age of five she would happily use a hand dryer.

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