Specific Simple Phobias

Fears of animals, situations, and natural occurrences are common in childhood, especially between ages six and nine, and often go away eventually on their own. A phobia is diagnosed if the fear persists for at least six months and interferes with a child's daily routine, for example, if a child refuses to play outdoors for fear of encountering a dog. Common childhood phobias include animals, storms, heights, water, blood, the dark, or medical procedures. No one knows what causes these fears, although they seem to run in families and are slightly more common in girls.

Unlike adults with specific phobias, children do not usually recognize that their fear is irrational or out of proportion to the situation, and they may not

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