Childhood Diseases

Question
Posted by: Very Worried | 2008/10/28

Q.

Everything in the mouth!

I am so worried about my one year old boy. I can' t turn my back and he is eating funny things. He loves to play in the garden but as soon as I let him he heads straight for my pot plants and tries to eat the sand. Sometimes I can' t get to him fast enough and he is so quick to put handfuls in his mouth. He also tries to eat the grass and leaves and I really don' t know how to get him to stop. Another thing is paper? I can' t seem to get him away from eating it. If I am paying for something he will grab the till slip out my hand and shove it in his mouth. He eats his books as well as my magazines. Obviously I try my best to keep these things out of his reach but he manages to find something. Even toilet paper off the roll. He likes to eat all this terrible stuff but he won' t eat food? He is a very bad eater and only likes to snack on a few little things during the day. He won' t eat anything pureed and hates to eat porridge. He basically lives on a few pieces of pasta, a tiny piece of bread, a few peas and few slices of banana or apple. He drinks about 700mls of milk in 24 hours. I can hear his tummy grumbling but he does not want to eat. I don' t want to offer him chips and biscuits, which I know he will eat as I am worried about it becoming a bad habit/ He is not a chubby baby at all and I am worried he is going to get worms or some other illness from all these funny things he is getting into his mouth.

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician

This problem of eating sand and other odd things is called pica. It is usually due to an iron deficiency in his diet and he is probably anaemic as a result. Please take him to be tested by your paediatrician or doctor as soon as possible.

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