Tips for Coping with Your Child’s Fear of Vomiting

Tips for Coping with Your Child’s Fear of Vomiting

None of us like being sick. It’s very unpleasant and can even be upsetting. Other people being sick can be equally unpleasant, and many people find the sounds and smells of someone vomiting near them can make their stomachs turn. But for some, it’s more than a passing dislike. Some people have a severe phobia of vomiting and of other people vomiting. 

This kind of phobia can make it hard to eat anything unusual, and things like colds can be overwhelming because they’ll lead to anxiety around the possibility of being sick. This can be particularly difficult for children who often vomit when they are unwell or who might occasionally see other people vomit at school. If your child has a fear of vomiting, here are some tips to help you help them. 

Tell Them They Aren’t Alone

One of the best things you can do to help your child feel better is to let them know that they aren’t alone, and that fear of vomiting is normal. Find books about the subject and stories in which the character shares their condition, look for support groups, and reach out to other people with their phobia. Sometimes, just sharing statistics will help your child to feel less alone and less different. 

Give it a Name

Being scared of being sick doesn’t sound like a medical condition, which can make your child feel guilty for how they feel and as though they should just be able to get over it. Emetophobia sounds better. Giving the condition its real name will help reinforce the idea that they aren’t alone, can’t help it, and their feelings are normal. 

Learn More About Emetophobia

Simply searching for what is emetophobia and learning more about the condition means that you can answer your child’s questions and offer more advice and support. This phobia affects people in many ways, so learn as much as possible to help. 

Find Treatment for Emetophobia

Take the time to understand the significance of treatment for emetophobia. Finding emetophobia treatment to help your child learn how to overcome fear and stop worrying is crucial. But make sure you find treatment for emetophobia that avoids exposure therapy, which can be deeply distressing. 

Treatment Options for Children with Emetophobia

If your child is suffering from Emetophobia, you will be relieved to know that there are treatment options available for children of all ages, so they do not need to continue allowing this upsetting condition to cause problems in their life. Your first step should be to make an appointment with your child’s GP, who will discuss the options with you.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is commonly used to treat childhood emetophobia. It involves gradually exposing the child to vomiting sensations and images in a safe, controlled setting. This helps them learn to tolerate and manage their anxiety. Parents can assist by reinforcing coping strategies at home. Relaxation techniques like deep breathing and guided imagery may also be taught.

Some medications can provide temporary relief from anxiety but are typically used alongside therapy; this is something your GP can advise on. Anti-nausea medication can also be helpful for easing the child’s concerns about vomiting. However, medication should not replace psychological treatment.

Hypnotherapy may benefit some children by promoting relaxation and changing negative thought patterns. Support groups can also validate the child’s struggles among peers who understand. A child psychologist can facilitate group therapy focused on building coping skills.

Parents play a critical role in modelling healthy attitudes about vomiting. Remaining calm and reassuring the child during moments of anxiety is important. Providing a stable, low-stress home environment can also aid recovery. Praise and rewards for brave behaviour should be given.

With compassion, patience and the right professional help, children with emetophobia can learn to manage their fears. CBT, anti-anxiety techniques, medication, hypnotherapy and peer support can all be useful. But most importantly, emotional support from loved ones provides the safety needed to overcome this challenge. Though progress can be slow, children can go on to lead happy, healthy lives when this phobia is treated properly.


Even with treatment or during the treatment program, there will be times when your child’s phobia overwhelms them. Distraction techniques can help them get through anxiety and break their negative thought cycles. Fidget toys can be great, and the 54321 grounding technique is often effective. For this technique, encourage your child to look for five things they can see, four they can feel, three they can hear, two they can smell and one they can taste. 

Be Prepared

Your child’s phobia might have specific triggers. For example, when you spot cold symptoms in the house, prepare with breathing techniques and fidget toys. You won’t always be able to prepare, but when you can, make sure you do.

Emetophobia can be debilitating, very confusing and scary for children. Learn as much as you can about the phobia, possible treatments, and distraction techniques, and make sure your child knows they aren’t alone. 

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