Why do kids eat dirt?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question, “Why do kids eat dirt?”

Why do kids eat dirt?

Kids eat dirt because of a condition called pica. This phenomenon appears to have a behavioral foundation, yet some youngsters may consume dirt or other items due to nutritional deficiencies.

A person with pica has an eating disorder during which they eat things that are not typically considered food. Curious by the world around them, young children frequently put things like grass or toys in their mouths. youngsters having pica (PIE-kuh) go above and beyond that. 

They occasionally consume potentially harmful substances. 

Dangerous consequences associated with pica include.

  • Malnutrition
  • Irritation or obstruction of the intestines
  • Contamination from soil-borne pathogens such as bacteria, parasites, and fungi

Your child’s risk of poisoning or brain damage increases if he or she ingests materials like old paint that contain heavy metals or other harmful substances. 

Thus, if you suspect your kid has pica, it’s best to get in touch with a doctor. To help you decide if a trip to the doctor is necessary, consider the following symptoms:

Even though you try to keep him or her away from non-food items, your youngster nonetheless regularly eats them.

This pattern of behavior has persisted for at least a month.

What are the Indications of Pica?

Children having pica want to eat non-food objects such as.

  • Dirt
  • Clay
  • Rocks
  • Paper
  • Ice
  • Crayons
  • Hair
  • Fragments of paint
  • Chalk
  • Feces (poop)

In children with pica, poor nutrition can lead to a variety of health issues. One or more of these may be in play.

  • Lack of iron in the blood, or anemia
  • Ingesting soil or paint chips containing lead can cause lead poisoning.
  • Intestinal distress, such as bloating, gas, or diarrhea, after consuming foods that the body has trouble breaking down (like hair)
  • Gastrointestinal diseases brought on by ingesting contaminated dirt or feces.
  • Blockage of the intestines caused by ingestion of obstructed foods.
  • Cuts to the lips, tongue, or teeth
  • Just what are the origins of Pica?
  • The exact origins of pica are unknown to medical science. However, it is more prevalent among those who.
  • Issues with development, like autism or intellectual disability
  • Mental disorders, such as OCD and schizophrenia
  • Hunger or malnutrition. A sense of fullness may be achieved with the aid of non-food things. Certain desires could be brought on by vitamin deficiencies.
  • Stress. Children from low-income families, as well as those who have experienced abuse or neglect, are disproportionately affected by pica.

Most occurrences of pica occur in young children or pregnant women. It’s typical for kids as young as two years old to put items in their mouths. So the conduct isn’t normally deemed a disorder until a youngster is older than 2.

Pica normally decreases as kids get older. But for persons with behavioral or mental health difficulties, it may still be an issue later in life.

How Do Doctors Identify Pica?

The doctor observes If:
 

  • Child has done so for at least a month.
  • The kid has health risks for pica, including a developmental handicap.
  • Doctors also might check for anemia or other nutrition concerns.
  • Examine blood lead concentrations.
  • Perform feces tests to check against parasites.
  • Request X-rays or other imaging studies to discover exactly what the kid ate or to look for digestive abnormalities, such as a blockage.

What kind of care is available for Pica?

In order to control their child’s pica, parents can seek medical advice. To stop children from obtaining the non-food items they consume, they can collaborate with parents on safeguarding measures, for instance. Locks and high shelves are two methods of protection that may be suggested.

Psychologists and other mental health professionals may be needed to help some children who suffer with pica. Medicine may be prescribed by a doctor if these other methods are unsuccessful.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we answered the question, “Why do kids eat dirt?”

References

https://share.upmc.com/2015/05/how-to-tell-if-your-child-has-pica/#:~:text

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/pica.html

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