Advertisement

What do I need to know about caring for a child with animal phobias?

If your child has animal phobias, remember that although the fear may seem excessive or irrational to you, to your child it is very real and can feel extremely terrifying. It is important therefore not to trivialize the child's fear, but instead to discuss the fear openly and respectfully. By realizing that your child's fear is genuine, you can approach the situation with compassion.

Avoiding the feared animal will reinforce your child's fear. Instead help your child to confront irrational fears by exposing the child to secure situations in which the feared animal is safely approachable. Provide your child with support and patience to slowly face and cope with the fear. Teach your child relaxation techniques to control the anxiety associated with the feared animal.

If your child is not able to overcome the animal phobia, discuss treatment options with your child's doctor.

Continue Learning about Phobias

How to Overcome Your Fear of Air Travel
How to Overcome Your Fear of Air Travel
As Erica Jong, author of the 1973 feminist novel Fear of Flying, wrote, way down deep almost everyone has a fear of letting go. But air travel is incr...
Read More
How do I overcome fear of flying?
Jill A. Grimes, MDJill A. Grimes, MD
There are many ways to overcome fear of flying, but suffering in silence should not be one of th...
More Answers
How common are blood phobias?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Blood phobias are not actually that common in the population as a whole. About 5 percent of people s...
More Answers
How will my phobia affect my children?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Your own phobias may make it more likely that your children will suffer from phobias of their own. A...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.