BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are building a new website!
Read more, and see how you can help:
Fear of Loud Noises
Berkeley Parents Network >
Worries Big & Little >
Fear of Loud Noises
My son is 2 1/4 years old. He is very paranoid of loud noises.
Our neighbor works on his house everyday(hammering, hammering
gun, sanding etc.) If my son is outside he will scream, hold his
ears and cry saying''loud, loud, mommy,loud) He also comments on
other things being loud such as something falling,the vacuum
cleaner, toilets flushing,etc.He seems overly sensitive to sound.
My question is -is this a normal stage? If so, when does it end?
He is normal and healthy in every other way. He hasn't had any
injury to the ears and has never had any ear problems or illnesses.
My son used to be extremely sensitive to loud noises.
He especially hated big crowded places with lots of people talking, and
loud music. He too would always say ''Too Loud, Too Loud''.
He's now 10 and although he still hates to go to big crowded places he
doesn't complain much about loud noises....so I guess he grew out of it.
My son is extremely sensitive and also socially quite anxious.
Sounds like your son is just very sensitive. Likely he'll grow out of
it, and you may have to adjust your lives in certain ways to help him
My daughter was extremely sensitive to noise when she was 2 1/4.
We live close to the Oakland Airport, and she would scream and cover
her ears every time a plane took off. There was a month where she was
so afraid of noises, she could not be outside in our backyard because
our neighbor's tree rubbed against our fence and made a noise that
scared her. Just about when I thought I needed to get her evaluated,
she outgrew it. The phase lasted about 2 months, then it stopped.
Thanks goodness! Hang in there, it will pass.
my daughter was disturbed by loud noises at that age. At some point
between 1.5 and 2.5 (can't remember when) she would get scared hearing
water running through the pipes in the house, and forget the vacuum
cleaner! I think this is pretty common, and makes sense if you think
about it: their world is expanding, so they're aware of more, plus their
little ears are way more sensitive than ours. I think if it goes on
perpetually, then ask your doc. But for now, it might help to explain
what all the noise is. With my daughter, I actually showed her the
pipes and turned the water on so she'd understand. Anything perceived
butnot understood at this age is a ''monster.'' Once armed with
knowledge and understanding, some of the fear goes away to be traded
with a feeling of power and accomplishment. My daughter is over 3 now,
and usually she knows enough now to ask what the noise is (and it's not
limited to loud noises anymore). hope this helps
It sounds like your son is a merely sensitive to his senses, not going
through a phase. You wrote ''overly sensitive'' but maybe he's just the
right amount of sensitive for him. All people are different and I think
we, as parents, often focus on Normal and where our child falls in line
instead of remembering that people come in a very wide variety. Some
grown-ups can't stand loud noises either. I went through very similar
concerns with my older son and finally after time came to the conclusion
that there is a broad spectrum of normal. Some people are very aurally,
or physically, or visually attuned. I am a very boisterous person and I
have to remind myself that when my son asks me to stop talking so loudly
or in some way to not overwhelm him, I need to hear him and remember he
is his own person with his own way he prefers. For example he hates to
have his hair dried after a bath because it's uncomfortable to him. He
is physically sensitive and I can approach it with an attitude of
''You're Ok'' and dry it anyway while he whimpers or I can listen to him
and know that he knows best about his comfort and let him have damp
It sounds like your little one is doing a great job of communicating to
you about his comfort level and he may be showing what kind of person he
is and that might be very different from you. You may just have to learn
to figure out his
preferences and find out what works for him and you together.
been there mama
I didn't see your original post, but my son is also very sensitive to noise. From the time he was tiny, he would react strongly to loud noises, so that he didn't want to take walks when he saw too many airplanes, and he couldn't bear the vacuum cleaner or loud trucks. He's almost 3, and now knows how to cover his ears, which helps a lot. He still doesn't like unknown noises, and won't ride the steam trains, but he seems to be better able to manage his surroundings. Incidentally, he's also very musical and listens intently to all kinds of music, picking out instruments he hears. One thing that might help: my aunt sent him junior ear muffs from the on-line Ear Plug Superstore, which he can use to help vacuum or grind coffee. I'm afraid of dogs, and never have gotten over it, so I figure he may always be sensitive to noise, but then I also wonder--what can he hear that I don't?
Our 3-year-old is very afraid of dogs. He says he's afraid of
the dogs trying to lick him. We live on a street with a LOT of
dogs - walking down the street can be an adventure. Is it
better to ''work on'' this issue trying to help him overcome it,
or just let it be?
He also really doesn't like loud noises. I'm wondering if there
might be some kind of connection?
I definitely wouldn't ''work on'' the issue. I would respect his wishes
and protect him from the dogs. Let him see that he can totally trust
you to make him feel safe. You might get some clues about the loud
noises from www.hsperson.org. HSP stands for Highly Senstive Person,
which I thought was new-age psychobabble until I took the quiz and found
it was me and explained many things I had thought were my defects.
Anyway at this website there is a section on HSP children, and there is
a book too. Your son might not be HSP but it might give you some
clues about him.
My son who is 6 dislikes loud noises and isn't crazy about dogs either -
I think the two are definitely connected. Even a small dog who yaps
really bothers him. I don't like noises either, and although I like
dogs, I respect my son's aversion to them and frankly, I think it is a
good thing. I read a publication for work that reports on all the jury
verdicts around the state, and you would be amazed by how many kids are
bitten by dogs and get seriously injured, or at least what I call
serious ($20,000 worth of plastic surgery required). The news media
only reports on kids mauled by pit bulls; there's a lot more going on.
And keep in mind that even friendly dogs can be really scary for someone
whose head is the same height as the dog's shoulder, too. I am always
amazed by dog owners who use those extendable leashes that allow their
dog to jump on my child. They always tell me "Don't worry, he's
friendly!" and I want to say "I'm friendly too, would you like me to
lick your face?"
I don't know about the fear of dogs question but I am very understanding
of the dislike of loud noises. I hated loud noises when I was a child
and my family always put up with me but made fun of me. I later found
out that it is very common with small children because their ear drums
are so small they can vibrate at a much higher frequency than an adult
ear drum. So children hear more high frequencies and more over tones
than we do. As your child ages and his ear drum gets bigger the
sensitivity should go away. But just rejoice that his ears are working
so perfectly and be understanding.
sound sensitive as a child
this page was last updated: Dec 22, 2008
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2014 Berkeley Parents Network