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Specific phobias

A description of specific phobias.
Young boy reading book by torchlight
© University of East Anglia

It’s normal for young children to feel scared of the dark, monsters, big animals, or loud noises like thunder or fireworks.

Most of the time, when children feel afraid, adults can help them feel safe and calm again. But a phobia is a more intense, more extreme, and longer lasting fear of a specific thing.

With a phobia, a child dreads the thing they fear and tries to avoid it. If they are near what they fear, they feel terrified and are hard to comfort.

© University of East Anglia
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