Why does my baby eat paper?

Why do some babies eat paper?

For the uninitiated, pica (pronounced PY-kah) is an appetite for non-food items. This tendency is relatively common in children and adults with autism or other developmental disabilities. They may try to eat all sorts of things. The items I most commonly hear about are paper, soap, pebbles, thread and bits of clothing.

What does it mean when a child eats paper?

Xylophagia is a condition involving the consumption of paper and form of eating disorder known as pica. People who suffer from this eating disorder usually consume substances like paper, pencils, tree barks or other items made of wood.

Is eating paper bad for babies?

“The biggest risk to eating something like paper is the risk of the child choking on the paper,” continues Dr. Tien. “If the child did not have a gagging or choking episode, does not have persistent coughing or difficulty breathing after eating the paper, this is nothing to worry about.

How do I know if my child has pica?

People with pica crave and eat non-food items such as: dirt. clay.

These can include:

  1. iron-deficiency anemia.
  2. lead poisoning, from eating dirt or paint chips with lead.
  3. constipation or diarrhea, from eating things the body can’t digest (like hair)
  4. intestinal infections, from eating soil or poop that has parasites or worms.
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Does pica go away?

In children and pregnant women, pica often goes away in a few months without treatment. If a nutritional deficiency is causing your pica, treating it should ease your symptoms. Pica doesn’t always go away. It can last for years, especially in people who have intellectual disabilities.

Can eating paper be harmful?

There is a common misconception that there are no health risks associated with eating paper. Most paper is non-toxic and considered safe to the touch but may contain small traces of toxic chemicals. This means paper may be toxic if ingested, especially in large amounts.

Is pica associated with autism?

“Pica, a potentially life-threatening disorder, is common in children with autism or intellectual disability.

Is pica caused by anemia?

Pica is not a cause of iron deficiency anemia; pica is a symptom of iron deficiency anemia. It is the link between iron deficiency anemia and lead poisoning, which is why iron deficiency anemia should always be sought when a child is diagnosed with lead poisoning.

How do you treat pica in toddlers?

One form of treatment associates the pica behavior with negative consequences or punishment (mild aversion therapy). Then the person gets rewarded for eating normal foods. Medicines may help reduce the abnormal eating behavior if pica is part of a developmental disorder such as intellectual disability.