Blogging NYT: For Children, a Scary World Out There (in There, Too)

Blogging NYT: For Children, a Scary World Out There (in There, Too)

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Carrie McBride
Nov 14, 2007

Fear of the flush. Does your child suffer from autoflushophobia? Okay, we made that word up, but it describes the very real terror many children feel about toilets that flush automatically. The unpredictability and the loud, high-pitched sound can cause anxiety and, for some children, even a refusal to use these toilets – a big problem for parents as auto-flushers become more and more prevalent.

A recent New York Times piece by Tina Kelley looks at this growing problem and reports on a few strategies to help parents and kids cope.

Jeffrey Kay developed the Flush-Stopper in 2002 because his daughter's fear of auto-flush toilets was impeding her potty training progress. The Flush-Stopper ($2.99) is a small reusable piece of plastic that is placed on top of the toilet's electronic sensor rendering it temporarily inactive.

Kelley reports that some parents keep a mental list of local public restrooms with old-fashioned flushers and someone has even started a website to list all the non auto-flushing toilets at Disneyland.

Are your kids autoflushophobic? If so, any advice for other parents?

Find the full Times article here. (Photo by: Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

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