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DS 3.3 scared of hand dryers so won't use public toilets.

(17 Posts)
ilovemyoboe Thu 23-Aug-12 15:54:19

My DS has been scared of hand dryers for as long as I can remember. He'll go into some of them with me, although certain ones he won't especially if he's not in a buggy. Even getting him into the disabled toilets is impossible sometimes. He's doing really well at doing his wees in the toilet at home, and one poo so far, but we're a bit trapped because we can't go anywhere that would require him to use a public toilet.

Anyone else had a child scared of hand dryers? Any ideas on how to help him get over this?

passivehoovering Thu 23-Aug-12 16:02:01

I think a lot of children that age are, my daughter 3.5 is. Not to the extent that she wont go into the toilet, but she gets quite upset if someone else is using the handryer. If I am taking her I am always wearing jeans, so she wipes her wet hands on me! I cover her ears with my hands, so how about some sponge ear protector things, or even the wax ones? Not ideal but worth a try?

countydurhamlass Thu 23-Aug-12 16:02:27

my ds now 8 yo is frightened of the noise and has been since being small. he will go in the toilets but as soon as someone uses the hand dryer he cries and puts his hand over his ears. i hold him very tightly to me and when people see how he eacts they generally will wait till he has left to use them. he is not as bad as he used to be.

all we could do was reassure him they didnt hurt and show him bit by bit what they did. its the noise more than anything.

UsedToBeAContender Thu 23-Aug-12 16:02:45

All of mine were! It was just something that they grew out of in the end. Maybe have a play with the hairdryer at home or something and explain that it's just the same thing?
I also [checks nobody is looking] used to aim the air into my face or head and pull funny faces to make them laugh and see that it wasn't anything to be afraid of.

Sorry I can't offer better advice! It doesn't help that most loos are switching to those dyson dryers that sound like an aeroplane landing!!

Methe Thu 23-Aug-12 16:05:06

I have EXACTLY the same thing with my 3.8yo son! how weird! I carry him in with his back to them and we use baby wipes instead of washing our hands <mingers>. A lot of the time he wees on the wheel of our car or behind a bush so he doesn't have to go near the dragon dryers (thanks DD!)

They'll grow out of it in their own time smile

minimisa Thu 23-Aug-12 16:09:28

My boys are terrified of them too . I mostly let them pee outside on a tree and harden myself to the disaproving stares!

ilovemyoboe Thu 23-Aug-12 16:18:18

Thanks everyone, glad we're not alone at least. I agree those Dyson ones make a stupid amount of noise. Good design except for children!

The other problem is that he will ONLY wee on the toilet atm, so not on the potty or standing up, so if we're out and he won't go into the toilet there aren't any other options. That's why its such an issue right now.

Will try the hairdryer game and the pulling faces too - think I'll be taking my husband out to visit various disabled toilet this weekend so he can hold DS whilst I play with the driers and pull faces. The things we do as parents!

theynevershutup Thu 23-Aug-12 16:26:50

My DD is 4 and hates them too and when younger she screamed if anyone used the really noisy ones. She will go to the toilet as long as I promise not to use them, normally dry our hands on tissues or just shake. She's definitely getting better though as if there is a 'quieter' hand dryer she will sometimes use them now. Sorry not really any advice but just wanted you to know you are not alone!

coffeeandwine Thu 23-Aug-12 16:32:33

Another one here. DS2 is now 8 and has grown out of it. DS3 (3.9) will only go into public toilets with his hands over his ears. I then lift him on and of the toilet and take him out. I then usually have an older DS (or DH) to look after him whilst I go back and wash and dry my hands. Otherwise, I just wash and dry on clothes.
If there is a disabled toilet, I will take him in there and try and encourage him to take his hands off his ears. It's a bit of a nuisance, but I'm sure he will get over it.
Good louck with the practice at the weekend grin

ilovemyoboe Sun 26-Aug-12 18:03:02

Thanks for your replies everyone. Been playing with the hairdryer, and DS less wary of it now when he's on Daddy's lap. Also been into two disabled toilets, and got him to sit on the toilet. OK, he did want Daddy to cuddle him at the same time, but better than last week. My husband did have to carry him in though. Hoping to get him walking into them soon as I can't carry him in as he's very tall and heavy and I'm 6 months pregnant.

Found out on Friday that the toilets in the preschool he will be starting in mid-Sept have dryers .. erk!

Rockchick1984 Mon 27-Aug-12 10:07:37

Little cafe's and the like usually have just 1 toilet and often have paper towels rather than hand driers, at least by using those it may get him over the initial fear of using the public toilets, you can keep working on the driers separately (eg driers when DH there, no driers when just you) and at least then you can tell him there isn't any driers in there smile

ilovemyoboe Sat 01-Sep-12 21:39:36

Yay! Had a wee on a public toilet last Monday, and a wee and poo on one yesterday! So proud of him. Found that explaining that hand dryers are just big fans, kind of like a big hair dryer worked. Got him used to the hairdryer. His favourite game was DH blowing a car along the coffee table with the hairdryer! Got him to look inside the hairdryer too so he could see the fan, and now he keeps showing the fan to me. Hope that helps others.

Shez1981 Mon 03-Sep-12 13:10:00

My 2 hate handdryers so i always carry antibac hand gell to use after they have been to the toilet or have lots of tissues to dry there hands on.

mungojerrie Sat 22-Sep-12 21:43:58

There is a wooly and tig episode where tig is scared of the hand-dryers - might be worth trying to find that - it helped our DD (3yrs)

VivaLeBeaver Sat 22-Sep-12 21:48:50

I never use hand dryers as I read some research that they just make germs breed like mad. You end up with more bacteria on your hands than if you hadn't washed. I use my trousers or take hand gel out with me.

CultureMix Sun 18-Nov-12 06:55:37

Same here with DS2, 3, still scared of hand dryers. I try to use disabled toilets or pick a quiet time. If necessary I'll sometimes state upon entering 'see the dryers are off they won't make scary noises' and that can signal to other ladies there not to use the dryers - doesn't always work but worth a try. DS2 is getting better and DS1 is completely over it so they do usually grow out of it.

I did read once about a mother whose son was terrified, she made up some "Out of Order" laminated signs that she'd blue-tack to the dryers upon entering the toilets then remove afterwards, bit devious but inspired too grin.

jessebuni Wed 21-Nov-12 12:49:26

So glad I found this post! My son does the exact same thing so its nice to hear its pretty normal!

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