Fears are common in childhood and often go away. A phobia is diagnosed if the fear persists for at least six months and interferes with a child’s daily routine, such as refusing to play outdoors for fear of encountering a dog. Specific phobia refers to the intense, irrational fear of a specific object, such as a dog, or a situation, such as flying. Common childhood phobias include animals, storms, heights, water, blood, the dark, and medical procedures. Children will avoid situations or things that they fear or endure them with anxious feelings, which may show up as crying, tantrums, clinging, avoidance, headaches, and stomach-aches. Unlike adults, children do not usually recognize that their fear is irrational.
Although fears are common, it is important to seek professional help if the child’s fears have been going on longer than six months are really interfering with your child’s daily life.
Worried that your child might be suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder:
- Does your child have a persistent and unreasonable fear of an object or situation, such as flying, heights, or animals?
- Does the child tend to avoid, or not approach these situations/object?
- When encountering the feared object or situation, does he/she react by freezing, clinging, or having a tantrum?
- Has this extreme fear lasted for more than six months?
Treatments, we provide that can help your child and you