Fear of dying in children and how to deal with it

The fear of death is a relatively complicated type of phobia that is professionally referred to as Thanatophobia. Some people fear the actual death and some fear being dead and it can greatly affect one’s life if not well taken care of because death is part of the human life just like birth is.

This kind of phobia in children is even more complex and it needs early and proper treatment so as the child grows up as an adult having learned to overcome the fear of dying. There are many reasons that can be attributed to the fear of dying and some are religion, fear of the unknown, fear of pain and others.


Some children fear death because of their religious convictions. Some children think that being dead stops any plans for salvation. This is one of the causes of their fear of dying. Other children also believe that for them to be saved when the world comes to an end, they are supposed to be alive. To be dead to them mean that they will be condemned for eternity.

Fear of the unknown

It is in the human nature to question what goes around their lives on earth and even in any after-life. The fact that they do not understand why people should die makes children have a fear of being dead or dying. They do not know how it feels or even how it happens and this can be a source of their fear of dying.

Fear of pain

Children know that dying is painful because they see people cry and sad when other people die. There is no child that does not fear being hurt or being exposed to pain. This is one of the common reasons for fear of dying in children.

Diagnosing Thanatophobia or fear of dying in children

A trained mental health doctor is the only person who should do a diagnosis of the fear of dying on any child. This is because they are trained on how to do that. The common ways of trying to understand the problem and what causes it is by asking a set of guiding questions that will enable the mental doctor figure out how to tackle the problem. If you notice that you child or children have the fear of dying you should immediately book an appointment with such a doctor to have them checked.

Treating the fear of dying in children

Before any kind of treatment is administered on the child, it is important to first understand the goals or objectives of the treatment because depending on each case the mental doctor handles, there are varying causes. Another thing is because each patient wants to achieve a desired solution such like be able to attend Halloween parties.

Possible solutions include some kinds of talk therapy which is administered through a conversation between the doctor and the child. Another way is by cognitive-behavioral therapy sessions or even psychoanalytic which try to settle the problem from a mental perspective.

Although many childhood fears are outgrown once the child grows into adulthood, it is very important as a parent or teacher to help the child seek therapy. This helps determine just how long the child will live with this fear.


As a parent you should try to help the child understand that death is a natural thing and maybe even let them know that from a religious perspective the child will meet the dead person in another life where they have gone to prepare a life for themselves. If it is a person that they loved, try explaining to them that person is always watching over them to keep them safe.