A survey this week revealed that manussiccusphobia, a phobia of hand dryers, is one of the top ten fears in UK children, more so than monsters, ghosts, nightmares, sharks, doctors and even ‘bad guys’.

Some 38 per cent of parents surveyed reported that their children were frightened of hand dryers, compared to 35 per cent of those scared of the dark.

It also found that 37 per cent of young children fear thunder, compared to 34 per cent who are frightened of nightmares and monsters and ghosts. Furthermore, 32 per cent fear doctors and needles and 19 per cent are scared of sharks.

Steve Whittall, Chief Operating Officer at Airdri, believes the numbers could reflect the ever-growing number of ill-placed hand dryers in public washrooms, as well as many devices having too high noise levels.

Talking on the results of the survey he said: “When you think about it, manussiccusphobia, especially in children, is entirely understandable. Some models of hand-dryers can be incredibly noisy and to a child, it might appear that they go off at will.

“Especially those very young children, who won’t understand that the motion sensor is what kickstarts the dryer into action. Often hand dryers are placed in busy spaces just at the right height for a small child to walk underneath them, which adds to the ‘shock’ factor if they accidentally set them off.”

He also explained that after the pandemic it was important to “factor in that new fears are more likely, with many of us more aware or even more anxious than before.”

At Airdri we have just launched our new Kiddi Quad range of hand dryers – one of our quietest models which is customised with a fun superheroes design to make it more appealing to children. We’re working with local schools to improve and make hand hygiene more fun as well as sharing industry advice on how to correctly place hand-dryers in bathrooms to make them more child-friendly. Finally, if you have a child that’s scared of hand-dryers, visit our blog on how to address this.

Find out more about the Kiddi Quad hand dryer here.

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