Picaenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/P-pica-enHD-AR1.jpgSome young kids have the eating disorder pica, which is characterized by cravings to eat nonfood items.eating nonfood items, consuming nonfood items, consumption of nonfood items, eating ice, eating dirt, eating clay, eating cigarettes, paint chips, eating paint chips, lead, lead poisoning, cravings, craving, consume, eating disorder, eating disorders, geophagia, nonfood, match heads, cigarette butts, ashes, soap, rust, chalk, glue, hair, iron, zinc, deficiency, deficiencies, nutritional deficiency, anemia, iron deficiency anemia, malnutrition, diets, magical, cultural, religious, ritual, ethnic, customs, morning sickness, pregnancy, pregnancy cravings, weird pregnancy cravings, developmental disorder, mental illness, epilepsy, autism, stress, oral fixation, habit, habits, intestinal obstruction, toxic, harmful, supervision, poisoning, poisonous, child-safety, neglect, lack of supervision, brain injury, brain injuries06/20/200011/20/201911/20/2019Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD11/04/20193816b519-42ba-40c6-b41d-67e739f35fb5https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pica.html/<h3>What Is Pica?</h3> <p>Pica is an eating disorder in which a person eats things not usually considered food. Young kids often put non-food items (like grass or toys) in their mouths because they're curious about the world around them. But kids with pica (PIE-kuh) go beyond that. Sometimes they eat things that can lead to health problems.</p> <h3>What Are the Signs &amp; Symptoms of Pica?</h3> <p>People with pica crave and eat non-food items such as:</p> <ul> <li>dirt</li> <li>clay</li> <li>rocks</li> <li>paper</li> <li>ice</li> <li>crayons</li> <li>hair</li> <li>paint chips</li> <li>chalk</li> <li>feces (poop)</li> </ul> <p>Health problems can happen in kids with pica, depending on what they eat. These can include:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ida.html/">iron-deficiency anemia</a></li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/lead-poisoning.html/">lead poisoning</a>,&nbsp;from eating dirt or paint chips with lead</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/constipation.html/">constipation</a> or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/diarrhea.html/">diarrhea</a>, from eating things the body can't digest (like hair)</li> <li>intestinal infections, from eating soil or poop that has parasites or worms</li> <li>intestinal obstruction, from eating things that block the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/digestive.html/">intestines</a></li> <li>mouth or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/tooth-sheet.html/">teeth</a> injuries</li> </ul> <h3>What Causes Pica?</h3> <p>Doctors don't know exactly what causes pica. But it's more common in people with:</p> <ul> <li>developmental problems, such as <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/pervasive-develop-disorders.html/">autism</a> or intellectual disabilities</li> <li>mental health problems, like <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/ocd.html/">obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)</a> or schizophrenia</li> <li>malnutrition or hunger. Non-food items might help give a feeling of fullness. Low levels of nutrients like iron or zinc might trigger specific cravings.</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/stress.html/">stress</a>. Pica is often seen in kids living in poverty, or in those who've been&nbsp;<a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/child-abuse.html/">abused</a> or neglected.</li> </ul> <p>Most cases of pica happen in young children and pregnant women. It's normal for kids up to 2 years old to put things in their mouth. So the behavior isn't usually considered a disorder unless a child is older than 2.</p> <p>Pica usually improves as kids get older. But for people with developmental or mental health concerns, it can still be a problem later in life.</p> <h3>How Is Pica Diagnosed?</h3> <p>Doctors might think it's pica if a child eats non-food items and:</p> <ul> <li>has been doing so for least 1 month</li> <li>the behavior isn't normal for the child's age or developmental stage</li> <li>the child has risk factors for pica, such as a developmental disability</li> </ul> <p>Doctors also might:</p> <ul> <li>check for <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/labtest4.html/">anemia</a> or other nutrition problems</li> <li><a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/test-lead.html/">test lead levels</a> in the blood</li> <li>do <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/labtest8.html/">stool tests</a> to check for <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/test-oandp.html/">parasites</a></li> <li>order <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/xray-abdomen.html/">X-rays</a> or other imaging tests to find out what the child ate or to look for bowel problems, such as a blockage</li> </ul> <h3>How Is Pica Treated?</h3> <p>Doctors can help parents manage and stop pica-related behaviors. For example, they can work with parents on ways to prevent kids from getting the non-food things they eat. They may recommend childproof locks and high shelving to keep items out of reach.</p> <p>Some kids with pica need help from a psychologist or other <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/finding-therapist.html/">mental health professional</a>. If these treatments do not work, doctors can also prescribe medicines.</p> <h3>What Else Should I Know?</h3> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>If your child is at risk for pica, or you see signs that worry you, talk to your doctor.</li> <li>If your child might have eaten something harmful, get medical care right away or call Poison Control at (800) 222-1222.</li> </ul>PicaLa pica es un trastorno de la alimentación en el que una persona ingiere cosas que no se consideran alimentos. Los niños con pica pueden tener problemas de salud, dependiendo de qué sea lo que comen. https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/pica-esp.html/3f650144-a004-44ee-9e95-f4e76f4b469c
Childproofing and Preventing Household AccidentsYou might think of babies and toddlers when you hear the words "babyproofing" or "childproofing," but unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in kids 14 and under.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/childproof.html/0dfb8dee-0285-4d87-a4d3-a048bdc1289e
Eating DisordersEating disorders are common among teens and kids, especially young women. Read about the warning signs, prevention strategies, and ways to help a child with an eating disorder.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/eating-disorders.html/0d56cfd0-b454-4f23-9fa2-0c7fae102171
Failure to ThriveMost kids grow well but some have ”failure to thrive.” This means they don't gain weight as expected and may not grow as tall as they should.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/failure-thrive.html/97db8c53-6541-49b3-a2c1-f7cdae15a8a0
First Aid: PoisoningIf you think that your child has taken a poison and he or she is not alert, call 911. Otherwise, contact your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/poisoning-sheet.html/0f92245f-bd14-4c2d-b58a-6b3754842f38
Household Safety: Preventing PoisoningFrom fertilizer to antifreeze and medicines to makeup, poisonous items are throughout our homes. Here's how to protect your kids from ingesting a poisonous substance.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/safety-poisoning.html/280eb827-7516-43c8-b7a5-bf8c79b5748a
Lead PoisoningLong-term exposure to lead can cause serious health problems, particularly in young kids, so it's important to find out whether your child might be at risk for lead exposure.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/lead-poisoning.html/0d32a361-b384-40fa-bc34-4730bf42ac3c
Your Child's HabitsNail biting, hair twirling, thumb sucking, and nose picking - these childhood habits are common. Here's how to deal with them.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/five-habits.html/b8588725-5579-4a37-b650-59fb656d6c0b
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-behavioralHealthkh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-behavioralHealthWeight & Eating Problemshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/nutrition-center/weight-eating-problems/0474b751-8c7d-4ffa-b7d5-b092ad59a88fBehaviorhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/emotions/behavior/ec417296-5115-48f8-9e98-400241ef0269