Advertisement

Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Help! My Child Eats Dirt!

child runningA mom notices that her three-year-old son eats dirt, paper and sand. She wonders if this is normal and if he will eventually grow out of this behavior.  

A child who persistently eats nonnutritive substances like dirt, sand and paper for a period of over a month could be suffering from pica.

Pica is more common in children with autism and developmental delays, but affects other children as well. About 10% to 20% of children, ages one to six are affected by this disorder.

Advertisement

Pica is a type of eating disorder that needs to be evaluated by a medical doctor who can rule out anemia, intestinal blockage or possible toxins or bacteria ingested from the items consumed.

Pica can be triggered from a nutritional deficiency in which the child craves iron or zinc. So checking low iron, zinc and other nutritional deficiencies through a blood test is a first step. A physician will also look for health related problems that may arise from what is ingested.

A child therapist can then work with the child using behavioral strategies aimed at stopping the consumption of nonfood items.

Parents should monitor eating at home and put items commonly eaten out of sight. Play areas should be regularly cleaned and vacuumed often. It is also a good idea to provide activities that keep a child’s hands busy. Finally, reinforce eating appropriate items, talking about the differences of nonfood and food items.

Sometimes this problem lasts several months; others times, it can disappear on its own. However, in some cases, it can continue into the teen and adult years, but this is more common when pica is related to a developmental disorder.

Previous Posts

5 Nonverbal Behaviors to Influence Others
Robert is at an  office party. He's been working hard and wants to win over his colleagues and make a good impression. He's wondering if there is anything he can do right now to win people over. Actually, there is, especially when it comes to ...

posted 7:00:50am Jul. 31, 2015 | read full post »

4 Strategies to Minimize Relationship Conflict
Five years ago, there was no conflict. Renee and Jerry decided to have children. At the time, both felt it was best for Renee to stay home with the children while Jerry worked outside the home. Recently, Renee was having a tough day, ...

posted 7:00:38am Jul. 29, 2015 | read full post »

Can You Think Away Chronic Pain?
Susan's leg injury was healed more than two months ago, so why is she still having chronic pain? Her family thinks it is all in her head, but is it? Her doctor can't find a reason for the pain and questioned her about stress in her life. Susan ...

posted 7:00:43am Jul. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Abortive Body Parts Only About Politics?
Like most of you, I was horrified to see the video of the Planned Parenthood women having wine and food  while discussing abortive body parts for sale. The lack of a moral compass should outrage all of us, but yesterday, as I  listened to ...

posted 7:51:16am Jul. 23, 2015 | read full post »

What Ben Carson's Single Mom Did Right
Dr. Ben Carson, renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and now presidential candidate, was raised in poverty to a single mom who lived in a tough neighborhood. Ben's mom worked two to three jobs in order to put food on the table. She didn't want to ...

posted 7:00:20am Jul. 22, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.