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Help a Mom: Three-year-old scared of automatic flush toilets

A three-year-old starts having accidents at home after a bad experience with an automatic flush toilet at a local restaurant.

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Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
Here's a topic that many moms out there have had to deal with. Even The New York Times took up the matter a few years ago in a story headlined "For Children, a Scary World Out There (in There, Too).".

I'm talking about kids who are scared of the automatic flush toilets that you find at stores and other public places. They flush for you ... often, at least in my experience, before you've done your business. That loud, unpredictable flushing noise can be a scary thing for little kids.

And, in the case of the mom who wrote me, her son's fear of those automatic flushes has caused him to have accidents at home.

Here's what the mom wrote to me:

I have a three-year-old son that has been potty trained for a bit over a year. I have been so proud of him! However, one day after a long day of running errands, my parents, children, and myself stopped at our local Golden Corral.
At the end of our visit, I took my one-year-old daughter and three-year-old son to the restroom. So we all go in the special needs stall because there were so many of us in a little space.
Well, my son got on the toilet and sat down, for a moment, only for the toilet to automatically flush. Low and behold, he jumped off and freaked out. Then my daughter ran over to it, and my son pushed her down and said "it's going to get you." I thought it was funny then, but that night and the next day, I noticed my son kept peeing on himself, and in bizarre places. I talked to him and all he would say is " Momma, I'm scared."
So my conclusion is the automatic toilet has caused me to have problems with my baby. I tried talking to him and explaining it to him, but it's not helping. My sister also had a similar problem.
So I am curious, how many children are thrown off by those automatic toilets. I really think something should be done.
Have you had the same problem? Can you help this mom? Please share in the comments box below. (If you don't see the comments box below, you'll need to log in or sign up for a WRAL account. You can do that by going to the top of the page and clicking on either "log in" or "register").
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