Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: Blood phobia in child age 8

  1. #1

    Blood phobia in child age 8

    Hi! My daughter has a phobia of blood. She is 8 and has had reactions to the sight of blood since she was 3. When she sees blood (her own or another person's) she will go sheet white, get stomach pains, feel sick or be violently sick, feel like she's floating or everything goes black. This reaction is equally as intense and sudden whether it is a papercut or something serious and she doesn't seem able to control it at all. I have tried to talk to my GP (who said maybe I should "try not making a big deal of it") most unhelpful, and we don't seem to have any services for children with phobias in our area? The school are very supportive and we all deal with episodes in the same way, taking her to the toilet to be sick, then sitting her down with a drink of water and a sugary snack to raise blood pressure. I don't know whether we should be avoiding situations where she sees blood, or whether exposure would help with the reaction - I have no idea what to do for the best. I wondered if anyone had experience of blood phobia and had any advice please please please!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Posts
    128

    Re: Blood phobia in child age 8

    Quote Originally Posted by KatieLou View Post
    Hi! My daughter has a phobia of blood. She is 8 and has had reactions to the sight of blood since she was 3. When she sees blood (her own or another person's) she will go sheet white, get stomach pains, feel sick or be violently sick, feel like she's floating or everything goes black. This reaction is equally as intense and sudden whether it is a papercut or something serious and she doesn't seem able to control it at all. I have tried to talk to my GP (who said maybe I should "try not making a big deal of it") most unhelpful, and we don't seem to have any services for children with phobias in our area? The school are very supportive and we all deal with episodes in the same way, taking her to the toilet to be sick, then sitting her down with a drink of water and a sugary snack to raise blood pressure. I don't know whether we should be avoiding situations where she sees blood, or whether exposure would help with the reaction - I have no idea what to do for the best. I wondered if anyone had experience of blood phobia and had any advice please please please!
    An interesting post, KatieLou... what is strange is the early age at which your daughter developed this problem. Did her fear begin suddenly after a painful bleeding injury (her own or seeing someone else’s)? Could it have been a learned response? I know someone who used to be a phlebotomist (taker of blood for clinical tests) and she says that it can become a big problem when parents react strongly to the perceived trauma their child is experiencing when having blood drawn. Do you or someone else close to your daughter also have this fear?

    It must be hard for any ‘haematophobic’ to tackle this fear because effectively it’s not a true phobia (in the sense that it isn’t irrational) but an instinctive life-preserving response in certain cases; and everyone will see blood (their own or that of others) many times in their lives.

    Without wishing to sound dismissive, your GP was probably suggesting the right course of action.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    4,526

    Re: Blood phobia in child age 8

    Fab reply above! I can't add much more to it, except to say that there is the issue that your daughter will be having periods starting in the next few years...and I'm sure for that reason you are aware that she will need some way to tackle it now. It is an extreme reaction in one so young, and it would be interesting to try and work out the trigger. I've just done a bit of googling on it, and there are some self-help phobia sites (obviously with your daughter being so young it would need to be you implementing the processes).....also....how about looking at the self-help books listed on this site and seeing if there is one that could be applied to a young child? Whilst I do see where your GP is coming from, I think your daughter's reaction is extreme and does affect her life considerably, and has done for an extended period of time, so some therapy for this phobia seems appropriate. Some ideas listed here...

    https://www.healthline.com/health/hemophobia#treatment

  4. #4

    Re: Blood phobia in child age 8

    Thank you for your reply! The fear began suddenly, but without anything I can think of triggering it. We were shopping in a supermarket and she discovered a papercut on her finger, she went so white I thought it was a strange reaction, and she said she had a pain in her tummy (she was about 3). I took her to the toilet and she was sick. I bought a plaster and popped it on the papercut (just to distract her from looking at it) and we continued to shop. That was the first time, and each time after has been a problem. It started only concerning her if it was HER blood, but recently if a friend at school bleeds she also reacts the same way.
    She has no medical conditions requiring needles or bloods to be taken. She broke her leg on a trampoline when she was 4 and made no fuss whatsoever!
    No-one close to her has the same fear (or other phobias), so I can't see where it is coming from. I have blood taken regularly (post-cancer) but she's never been to the hospital with me, or seen anything of it. And it doesn't bother me at all, so I don't talk about it around her either.
    I know the doctor thinks that taking actions like carrying plasters and sugary snacks is over-reacting, but what is the alternative? Should she just be left to throw up and black out on her own?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    2,725

    Re: Blood phobia in child age 8

    Quote Originally Posted by KatieLou View Post
    Should she just be left to throw up and black out on her own?
    Disclaimer: I'm not a mother and I can only imagine how tough this must be for you.

    However, in a way, by making a ritual of it you're reinforcing the belief that there's something for her to be afraid of, which may not be helping her in the long run.

  6. #6

    Re: Blood phobia in child age 8

    Thanks Carys! I am also concerned about periods, as some of her peers are already talking about them with their parents, and I really don't know what to say if she asks me about them? I need to be honest, of course, but I'm worried about making her fear them starting - that could really cause a 'bigger deal of them'!
    Thank you for going to the trouble of googling - I've been doing the same, but looking for something kid-specific seems to be a problem. Thanks for the link, I'll have a look at it now.
    What I was really hoping for was to speak to an adult who has out-grown the phobia, who can just let me know if they needed any help, or if they just got better in time?
    Thanks again

  7. #7

    Re: Blood phobia in child age 8

    I know, I totally agree, but it seems to be the only way to enable her to approach everything else normally - with a 'plan' for what to do if she sees blood. And it isn't as though everyone becomes hysterical around her when she bleeds, it's just a calm response of taking her to the bathroom, distracting her with a sweet and popping on a plaster.
    Last edited by KatieLou; 10-05-19 at 11:03.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Posts
    2,725

    Re: Blood phobia in child age 8

    What you really need to be working on is the fact that no plan is required, however, this might require the help of a sensitive professional.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    4,526

    Re: Blood phobia in child age 8

    WOw Katie, what a mystery and how unusual that she started with this phobia at such a young age and with basically - as you say - nothing that you can think of as a trigger. Extraordinary. However, that doesn't help you does it ! Hmmmmm, yeah, I do kind of agree with the carrying snacks and so on actually at the moent.....as she is a young child and thinking of her fainting and potentially hitting herself is a worry, or being sick alone. However, that isn't a long term solution. I was thinking though - what about working on reassociating her fears with something good? I mean - if you spent time explaining to her what bleeding was about, at a child related level. How its the 'magic way' the body heals itself and makes scabs and sends special 'cells' to sort out the cut and make sure no germs get in. So, like each time she has a weeny cut, or someone else has a weeny cut, just going a bit overboard with positivity. Like 'woooahhhhhh' brilliant a little bit of blood is coming to help make it all better. Blood is basically PVA glue for the skin. lol

    Treatments for phobias are all rather similar, no matter what they are to be honest, so blood specific isn't going to have a much different way to solve than any others. The only thing that is different here is the age of the child, I've had a quick look on google (sorry I'm sure you've done all this before !) and see that play -based interventions for a child of this age can work well.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Play-Based-...gateway&sr=8-6

    What about spending time playing the age old doctors games - bleeding toys and making them better. Encouraging her to talk through her phobia, and giving her desensitising via the 'bleeding' toys in a safe and secure way.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    4,526

    Re: Blood phobia in child age 8

    This a really good article, with some suggestions for how to go about retraining her thinking...


    https://www.heysigmund.com/phobias-a...s-in-children/

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. coping with a child with a phobia
    By Hudmum in forum Phobias
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 10-05-19, 12:28
  2. Six year old child's toilet phobia
    By jtn in forum Phobias
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 21-02-12, 10:11
  3. Blood test phobia, please help
    By hayley xo in forum Phobias
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-08-10, 20:07
  4. Blood test phobia - getting somewhere!
    By milly in forum Phobias
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 16-04-08, 23:52
  5. Blood test phobia
    By milly in forum Phobias
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 27-11-07, 21:46

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •