Childhood Diseases

Question
Posted by: Shoes | 2011/10/29

Q.

Eating strange items

Hi Professor,

My two year old son still puts odd things in his mouth and swallows them. He loves our front door mat and bites pieces out of it. He chews on the door stop. He eats hand cream and bath soap. He has his full set of teeth, so I can''t put it down to teething. He even opens the petrol tank of the lawn mower, puts in a stick and tastes the petrol.

What is this all about?

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician

This kind of behaviour is known as 'pica' and is fairly common in children of this age. It is usually due to a child having a severe iron deficiency. Please take your son to your doctor to have a blood count done as well as his iron and ferritin levels checked in his blood.

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