To the numerous parents who are left baffled by their kid’s terrorizing wails whenever you take them near water, well, this blog is for your poor unrested souls.
Some kids may show signs where they maybe deliberating too much before stepping inside the pool. Some kids even break down crying at the edge of the pool, and what is concerning is that this state of their fear may reside within them long enough to still stay there even after they’ve grown up. So, what is this fear that makes your child detest going underwater?
What is Aquaphobia?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, they estimate that certain specific phobias affect almost 19.2 million adults in the U.S. And so today, the average American adult in today’s times, most of them are living with specific phobias whose symptoms develop as early as in their childhood or adolescence.
Aquaphobia is a specific kind of phobia that can be called an irrational fear of something that doesn’t cause much danger. A person may suffer from aquaphobia if they are near lakes, pools, or any other water bodies. But generally, it gets associated with hydrophobia which is not the same case. Hydrophobia is usually a reaction to rabies and generally, it comes with other telltale signs of the infection so you won’t be confused pretty much after about what your child may be experiencing.
What Causes Aquaphobia?
Like most psychological disorders, the cause of certain phobias is still unknown. However, many boasts of evidence suggesting that it can be genetically inherited. But if we’re talking about aquaphobia, it is pretty much straight forward.
Aquaphobia is often caused by a traumatic instance that usually takes place in a person’s childhood, instances like sudden drowning or choking or any other negative experience near or involving water. It can also be a result of a series of unfortunate events nearby water that further tells the human conscious to start avoiding water or that water bodies are more dangerous than other people deem.
That sort of thinking right there is a sign that your kid may be experiencing some serious discretions against going into the water. Any traumatic experience involving water can cause this particular phobia to set in motion.
Many renowned clinic and child specialists have claimed that it can also happen when there is a change in a person’s brain function. So, even if you thought that your kid wasn’t afraid of water, think again and keep checking if your kid’s actually comfortable spending his time by the pool.
How to Check if your Kid has Aquaphobia
Some of the more common symptoms/signs of aquaphobia include:
- An immediate feeling of intense fear when thinking about water
- Starting to feel anxious and panic when thinking about water
- An unreasonable almost hysteric fear when exposed to water
- Avoidance of water
- Elevated heartbeat
- Tightness around the chest and having difficulty in breathing
- Getting Nauseous
- Validating their fear when the waters aren’t dangerous
So, if you find your kid exhibiting any of these signs, get ready to sit them down and follow the below-given steps to help them overcome their irrational fear of water.
How to Help your Kid overcome their Fear of Water
Start by asking them to wear their floaties and ask them to join you by the pool. Promise no pushing would be done. You need to win your kid’s trust for the later steps. Establish a pact where you’ll give them a treat or take them out for a movie if they are willing to take off their floaties and are willing to try with you. You need to make them feel that they will be rewarded for their bravery. Do NOT miss this step.
Once you see that your child has relaxed a little, demonstrate that the water is safe by yourself first. Move your hand around the pool and ask them if they’d like to do so too. Or if they’d like to sit with you by the edge of the pool with all your legs in the water. This should help calm your child even further.
Once in the pool, make sure that the water level is comfortable enough for your kid and that they don’t start to panic. Have them blow bubbles into the water using his or her mouths. And of course, you’ll be going first. But if they are still afraid of entering the water, you can also have them lay on the edge of the pool and blow bubbles.
Playing games in the pool is a great way to get your child acclimated to the water around them. Start by blowing up games and toys that they can play when they’re in the water. You’ll find a lot of such interesting games online or at your local toyshop like our inflatable basketball and volleyball set. Kids gradually seem more relaxed being in the pool when playing or if their attention has been diverted from their fear.
Not necessarily the last step, in fact it is crucial that you follow this step with utmost importance.
It is actually more helpful to understand the reason behind your child’s fear. Sometimes we miss out on details that can help us ascertain the cause of their fear. But in reality, many kids will tell you about a scary movie they saw involving water, or their imagination dictates that there is a sea monster living in the bottom of a lake or pool.
In the end, if you are able to make yourself aware of their fears and make them aware of how much of it is irrational, it will become easier for your kids to comply with your pool-friendly drill. But no matter what you do, don’t oversell it. Your kid doesn’t need to be told superfluous lies in order for you to bring them to the pool.
So, coming back to where we started, deal with your child with complete honestly and don’t ever make them feel that you’re not around them when they’re testing their fears, that can spite other issues in the future, so beware.