Have you ever wondered why your child eats clay, dirt, sand, or chalk? The answer is: your child is suffering from a disorder known as “pica”. In this disorder, children love eating such non-nutritional items. Children who are mentally or physically ill, and/or they are neglected or abused may consume these items.
Frequent consumption of non-food items can harm the development of your child and can often lead to severe digestive issues.
If your child does not stop eating sand, clay, or dirt even after counseling and cautioning, this disorder can be a warning sign of autism.
If your child is suffering from Pica disorder, he/she may have cracked or chipped teeth and even jaw bones are visible in some cases.
Pica can be a major cause of imbalance in your child’s body and sometimes it can lead to intoxication due to consumption of such items that contain iron and lead.
Children suffering from this disorder can also experience parasitic infections that can cause digestive problems which can further lead to weight loss in your child which is really dangerous.
It is advisable to look out for any inedible consumption of your child.
Observe the eating pattern of your child if he is consuming wood, paper, wood, rocks, ice, glass, clay, and dirt. If this habit lasts for several weeks, then consult your healthcare provider immediately. Your doctor can easily identify any underlying causes such as ignorance or disturbed family environment and try to reconstruct such repulsive behavior through counseling and emotional therapies.
Best way to treat Pica is to shower your child with love, care, and affection, and be ready to support them always. It will become easier for them to cross any difficulties in life be it mental, emotional, physical, or psychological.