Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


Help! My Child Eats Dirt!

posted by Linda Mintle

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.

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

What is Bipolar Depression?
When academy award winning actress, Catherine Zeta-Jones announced that she suffered from Bipolar II Disorder and checked into a mental health facility for a brief stay in 2011, it made celebrity news. People wondered. What is Bipolar Disorder and how does that differ from depression? The Nat

posted 6:00:15am Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Adrian Peterson: When Does Spanking Become Abuse?
This week has been filled with reports about NFL Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's accusation of reckless or negligent injury to his four-year-old son. The incident has once again raised the controversy surrounding the use of corporal punishment. Three issues are key in this deba

posted 6:00:52am Sep. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Would You Allow Your Teen to Have Sex in Your House?
A friend of mine was having coffee with me and mentioned something that took me aback. Someone we know is allowing her son's girlfriend to live in the house with them and have sex under their roof. Neither of these "kids" are 21 and the family claims to be Christian. Honestly, I don't understand!

posted 6:00:33am Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Does Porn Affect Your Relationship?
During an evening talk show  there were plenty of jokes about pornography. And as the host and celebrity guest settled down, it was evident, porn, in their opinions, is no big deal.  If fact, many of the tabloids and even a few respected marital therapists, will tell you that a little porn is fi

posted 6:00:38am Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

5 Ways to Live in Financial Harmony
Money can't buy you love but it sure can make love difficult. Especially if you are in a relationship and not managing your money well. When it comes to money, here are 5 tips to live in relationship harmony: 1) Decide how your credit cards will be used when you enter a relationship. One person

posted 6:00:28am Sep. 12, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

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

All reported content is logged for investigation.