Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Edie | 2012-04-19



Dear Prof

Hope you are well.

A while ago I wrote you about my 1 yr old who was eating soil. I started him on ferrimed then. When we went to his paed, he suggested that I keep him on the iron supplement for at least 3 months and then only do the blood test, as he was ill at the time of the visit.

Anyway, it is almost 3 months now, but this ‘ habit’  has become so bad now. He is almost obsessively eating everything: soap, body cream, plastic, sponges, leaves, crayons etc. He still gets the ferrimed. He has a healthy appetite and I give him balanced and healthy meals all the time. I read a bit about Pica on the web and the information is rather worrying, because he had those fits when he was smaller. We did do the ECG and the paed said he was fine. He has not had any more ‘ episodes’  until two weekends ago when his nose was blocked and I gave him some iliaden. He was sleeping next to me and about an hour later I felt a couple of jerks. So, I thought about it and I was about 100% sure that I always gave him iliadin previously before theses “ fits”  and that it might be something in it that he reacts to. But now, if I see that Pica is a symptom of epilepsy, it just brings that whole issue back.

Should I have his paed revisit this concern or should we just focus on possible deficiencies. When he has his iron tested, what other deficiencies should we also look for?

Thanks so much

Expert's Reply



You have set your question out very well.In this age group pica is almost always due to a nutritional deficiency especially iron. However your baby son is really taking his pica to extremes and you have already been giving him an iron supplement for some time.Usually pica stops when children get an iron supplement. He certainly requires blood tests to see if he still has any iron or other deficiencies such as a folic acid deficiency.He should be seen by his paediatrician These tests should have been done when he first started this habit.He should also be screened for epilepsy.

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