Dealing with children also means learning to deal with certain situations that you didn’t even know existed. With each new phase of childhood, new things about children are discovered and new challenges to deal with fears, crazes and tantrums arise. The fear of bathing, for example, is one of the most common and can happen to children of all ages.
But although it seems like just a phase, it may be that this fear turns into something more serious, requiring even medical treatment in more serious cases. But how do you know if this is the case for your child? Let’s talk more deeply about ablutophobia (fear of bathing), its causes and the consequences that it can bring.
What is Ablutophobia?
Ablutophobia is the name given to the dread or fear of bathing very common in children, but it also occurs with adults, especially women. The ablutophobia is a pathological state , that is, when that fear becomes a medical case, hindering the child’s life and the people around him, requiring treatment to get back to living a normal life.
Certain tasks like washing your hair or even washing your hands, for example, turn out to be very difficult or impossible when a person has ablutophobia, which can trigger a number of other problems.
Causes of Bath Fear
There are several causes for a child to develop a fear of bathing. Trauma such as drowning or some very bad experience with water can make this fear even greater, especially if parents let it grow.
Horror films can also make children acquire this fear of bathing, including reports of people who started to have ablutophobia after watching Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psychosis.
Certain psychological illnesses like OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) can end up triggering ablutophobia as well. In this case, it is necessary to have the treatment of the first disease in order to be able to reach a cure.
Consequences of Bathing Fear
In general, society does not usually accept people who do not bathe well. That is why we must first mention the social and psychological consequences that ablutophobia can imply .
Childhood is a phase where children are gradually learning to deal with other people and to live in groups, a child who takes little bath or does not take it, ends up being isolated from the others, which can strongly affect their psychological formation.
This can also affect parents in a certain way, as they are directly responsible for keeping their child clean and hygienic.
There are also the physical consequences , since a body without a bath is a body much more likely to have bacteria that can turn into different types of diseases. So it is much more likely that a child who does not bathe will become more ill.
Bath Fear Treatment
The treatment of this type of disease needs to be done with a specialized therapist who knows how to deal with this type of problem. He clarifies about the irrationality of this fear and the consequences that such a problem can bring to the person.
Of course, this type of conversation is carried out from the perspective of a specialist , that is, there is no point in trying to clarify to the child that the fear of bathing is bullshit, as a therapist knows the appropriate language to be used, in addition to techniques to gain the confidence of your patient to get into deeper issues like this.
How to Help Your Child Overcome Bath Fear?
Although ablutophobia is a reality, fear of bathing is not always a pathology. In fact, this is only considered a disease when the problem starts to disrupt the child’s and family’s life and persists for about 6 months.
There are cases of children who do not like to bathe, perhaps for reasons close to those that cause ablutophobia, but with less impact and that can be resolved by the parents.
Parents should pay attention to whether the problem is persisting and try to demonstrate to their children that bathing is a time of pleasure and cleanliness, where it is possible to relax and rest. Bathing with your children can be a good technique and can also help your child overcome his fear.
How to bathe a baby?
A bath needs to be a pleasurable and relaxing time for a baby. So there are some tips that you can follow on how to bathe a baby that can help transform this activity that can be tough at a good time.
To bathe a baby, the ideal is that the water is warm and still , that is, no shower. The baby’s body should be rubbed gently, making him feel good and relaxed with the touch. Use only products (shampoos and soaps) specific for babies or allowed by dermatologists so that the baby does not have any type of allergy.
ATTENTION: Under no circumstances leave the baby alone at the time of the bath. Any kind of inattention can have serious consequences, such as drowning.
The fear of bathing can be a very serious thing that may require special attention from a mother and father or even from a specialized doctor in order for the child to overcome this phobia, but it is also important to remember that not every case of fear bathing is necessarily a clinical case that needs treatment.
We are often able to deal with these small problems common to many children simply by following a few steps and dealing better with our children. So do not despair if your child is afraid of the bath, it is more likely that this is a phase and that you can help to overcome it with relative ease.
However, if this problem lasts for a long time, seek help and do not despair, there are certainly several ways to make this problem only temporary and does not interfere with your child’s life.
See Also: Bath in the Bucket – When to Start?
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.