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5 year old "fire fears"

986 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Purple Cat
Hello wise mamas,

I would love suggestions from anyone who can help. My daughter just turned 5 and seems to have developed a fear of any loud noise that reminds her of a fire alarm. In her preschool they have had practice fire drills and all of a sudden any bell sound terrifies her! She breaks into tears every time a school bell rings, or an alarm clock goes off. She also refuses to return to school--which is almost over anyway so its really no biggie but Im so sad that she is so afraid. I have tried talking to her and explaining that fire alarms are good because they warn us and keep us safe but it seems like her whole brain is wrapped around a fire. All she wants to talk about is "what if there was a fire?" So, what can I do to ease her fears and help her get over this. If would be terriffying if she went to kidndergarten still so afraid of the bell. I would so appreciate any suggestions!
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A little sesame street might be in order here. Elmo visits the Firehouse would be wonderful for your little one. Elmo gets scared when there is a fire at Hooper's Store. He then visits the firehouse, talks with the firemen, and realizes that it's not so scary. (The show would really be helpful with her understanding the importance of the fire alarm).

DH is a firefighter so this is one show we don't mind the kids watching. They have seen it probably 100 times.

Another idea is to call the local firestation and arrange a visit.
No help but I'm right there with ya with my kindergarten aged DD. The fire drills at her school are LOUD LOUD LOUD (with strobe lights) and she has pretty sensitive ears. She's been there for three years, but this year it's really bothering her (every time someone goes into the room where the alarm box is located she covers her ears and cries just in case they accidentally set one off).

She also is very scared of fire in our fireplace... we've only had one recently and I think again her fear that it might set off OUR smoke detectors and be loud was worse than any fear of fire or injury (though there was some of that too).

I don't know what to do but to tell her that it's infrequent, inevitable and that she will never like it but that she probably will get used to the sound. And that the drills are for a reason and that smoke detectors keep us safe. And give it some time.

Poor things.
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When I was younger, I was worried about a house fire. What made me feel better was to have a fire ladder for my bedroom and I also packed a small bag and kept it under my bed. I guess I was worried about being outside and getting cold (in my pj's at night), so I wanted the spare clothes. But I was a very 'planner' type of kid. My solution to the fear of house fire might just fuel another child's fear.
Thank you for your replies, Im glad Im not alone. I too remember being terrified of a fire when I was a kid. Panick-y scared for a kid and I hate for her ot feel this way. I will for sure check out the Elmo movie, I seem to remember an episode of Arthur when D.W. was really afraid at school- Ill see if I can find that too. Thanks so much for the advice- I hope it will ease her fears somewhat.
My 3 y.o. twins were recently in a hotel fire. They played "fire" and were very scared for quite awhile. What helped them was practicing fire safety drills. We all got in our beds. I made the sound of a fire alarm, we all got on teh floor and crawled to different doors, etc., figuring out the best way out.

Our local fire stations are also really good about showing kids the firetrucks and station. My daughter has asthma and anaphylactic food allergies. We visited the fire station and sat in an ambulance and talked to the paramedic.

My children hate really loud noises, too, so I sympathize. I wish I had more advice. I would be a little leery though of keeping her home from school because she is afraid of the noise. I think avoidance can teach her that there really is something horrible, so horrible we should stay away. From personal and family experience with serious anxiety issues/disorders, avoidance can fuel the anxiety monster. Just a thought, something to consider.
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