Some kids are eating soil, why?

@Sreekala (22957)
India
March 16, 2013 2:03am CST
Dear myloters, A two year old boy is residing in the upper floor of our house. His problem is, he is very fond of soil and eating the same. He uses his finger nails to get soil even from the walls. His mother’s house is this and mostly his granny and mother’s sisters are taking care of him. To prevent his habit they are stick ‘tapes’ on the walls but whenever he get a chance he try to eat soil. I told them it is a problem, next time when you go to the pediatrician tell the problem to the doctor. Have you heard about such problems among children? Why this boy has this habit? Please share your knowledge and experiences here. Have a great weekend to all of you. March 16, 2013.
8 people like this
20 responses
@jaiho2009 (39019)
• Philippines
16 Mar 13
dear sis I knew kids acting weird and this is one of those weird things I ever heard. I suggest that you should tell them to ask professional help. Uh oh, my daughter had this habit of biting her nails, thanks she stopped now Have a great weekend dear sis
1 person likes this
@Sreekala (22957)
• India
16 Mar 13
Dear sister, I asked his mother already dear, but she reacted like she is surprised as it required treatment or need professional help but she agreed to tell this thing when she visit the doctor next time. She has another baby too so naturally the attention goes to that younger one. Now the boy left with his grandparents and going to a school (play school) nearby. Biting nails, who is not doing this, this habit is seen with grown ups too. Sometimes I felt, when I watch the same while traveling in bus, some people are doing the same it as a great work and deeply engrossing.
@jaiho2009 (39019)
• Philippines
16 Mar 13
Yes, I have seen others biting their nails on public places (unconsciously) and it's not healthy (hehehe) that's why I keep telling my daughter to stop and each time I saw her doing such I always give her hands a hard tap
1 person likes this
@Sreekala (22957)
• India
16 Mar 13
My elder son too have this habit, I am tired up already with this. He do this when he watch tv, without his knowledge. I think I may need your service to help me.
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@thesids (22358)
• Bhubaneswar, India
16 Mar 13
Hi didi I am that boy And I continued this habit for many years I guess it was until I was 6 that I stopped licking the walls. I loved the taste of cement cover and then later when the walls were white washed. The coating was quite tasty. Maybe it has to do something with the Lime content they have on the plaster. For the soil, I still remember nibbling on those earthen pots which broke. We had a small restaurant when I was that young and we used these pots to make curd and sell. My grandparents did not allow me to eat directly from these pots as they knew I would throw away most of the curd and then start chewing the pot
@Sreekala (22957)
• India
16 Mar 13
Hello Sidhu, Glad to see you. This boy is also doing things exactly like you did, he also licking the walls. Then tell me how you stopped this habit? You realized by your own, this is not a good thing? Or have you gone for any treatment? One of my classmates in college, told me that, she was very fond of uncooked rice. Finally her mother taken her to a doctor and got some injection after that she felt to vomit with the smell of rice. There must be some reason behind this habit.
@thesids (22358)
• Bhubaneswar, India
16 Mar 13
Didi, there are some medicines in Homeopathy. I was given those but only when I was 5. But I guess I stopped those habits out of self realization or growing up. As for the raw rice, my youngest cousin had this habit. Though she even does this today at times (she is married and has a daughter) but she too was on homeopathy for leaving the habit. And in both cases, the medicines worked. Allopathy is not the way to go for curing these.
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@Sreekala (22957)
• India
16 Mar 13
I think the self realization may be the reason as eating soil is not at all good and by the age of 5 kids can realize it. Eating rice, a girl in our opposite home busy on picking the stones and other things from the rice which is meant for cooking, but I surprised to see, most of the time she is putting the rice into her mouth than doing her works. My hubby asked to her, are you cleaning the rice or eating? I explained this, it is a habit of grown ups too as they are eating rice without their knowledge while doing the works.
• India
16 Mar 13
Hi Sreekala, This is some disorder is happening in children at the age between 1 to 6 years. Its caled as PICA. Geophagia is a form of Pica in which the persons consumes earthly substances such as clay, sand is due to mineral-deficient diet. It is symptom of other disorders rather than its own specific disorder. I heard that it is also due to action of some worms. Better medicine are available in Ayurvedic. You may suggest the parent of the child to meet any of the Ayurvedic doctor (Vaidyan in Kerala) to get the medicine. Some of the pregnent ladies are also doing the same thing. But it is very dangerous they are consumes paint from the wall etc. Now a days all the walls are painted. Earlier in our native places (Trichur) the walls are made from Kummayam (Chunna, Alam) etc. In these wall it is easy to cratch with the nail and had. So I suggest you to take the child to a Ayurvedic doctor and not alopathic pediatrician. Have a nice day.
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@Sreekala (22957)
• India
16 Mar 13
Hello prudhviraja, That is a great explanation about the problem. But in case of worms, I felt, the worms will be common if someone eat soil and the problem should raise after eating soil (Just my guessing). These people are from Tamil Nadu and I think they are taking allopathic treatment only. (I am from Kerala but not residing there at present). But definitely I will convey your suggestion to his mother as ayurvedic treatments are available here too. Thank you so much and have a nice time.
• India
16 Mar 13
Hai Sreekala, You have misunderstood what I commented. The worms are there is not due to eating soil. Since worms are there due to that the kids are eating soil. It like that some pregnent ladies are having (Itcha) a thinking that they want to eat Imli (Puli) or Kacha Mango. Am I right? Like that their mind is telling them to have the soil. You may suggest them to meet an ayurvedic doctor, Kottakkal Aryavaidyasala branch is available in Hyderbad etc. too. Have a nice day.
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@Sreekala (22957)
• India
16 Mar 13
I understood well. I meant that worms won't be a reason to feel eat soil.. But worms will grow by eating soil. Yes, branch of Kottakkal Aryavaidyasala is near to our place (Delhi)
@surekharathi (14134)
• India
16 Mar 13
Dear friend good morning I know about this habit of kids but the different person and different opinions some says because of vitamin ki kami due to vitamin problem. I think this habit is only till 2 to 5 years child while child is grow automatically their habit is gone. Only few child is eat the soil in young age also then their parents should consult with Dr. Most of the child has such habit but now these days I think no chance of eating soil because every where only tiles. In rarely we can see the soil.
1 person likes this
@Sreekala (22957)
• India
16 Mar 13
Hi dear, Yes, the soil is lack as he is residing in top floor so he tried to get it from walls. What an idea Sir ji? You may be right, vitamin deficiency leads to this problem. His mother told me that she is giving worms medicine more often as he eats soil regularly. If I am in his mother's place I would have consulted the doctor and treated it already. Then lunch ready dear?
1 person likes this
• India
16 Mar 13
Ohhh God two minutes before my danger and sweet hubby call me for serving the lunch and I say two minutes I am coming and now you write the last line hehe...what a co-incidence. Now going for serving lunch and making hot chapati come dear for eating meals with me so I can eat two chapati more because when we eat the meals in group then feel happy. I mostly eat alone because my hubby not like to eat meals together. Hmmm I know you are lovely and carefully mother...byeeee miss you meet tommorrow.
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@Sreekala (22957)
• India
16 Mar 13
So the lunch is ready and you are busy on serving. I love to have lunch with you dear. But you were on dieting and trying to weight loss so if I come how it will be (as you said you have more).Dear, when I am hungry I really don't need any company to eat. But most of the time I a eating together with my kids. What is the special dear? I am asking about subji/curry. Is it a headache to think and prepare different dishes on every day? I felt so
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@SHAMRACK (8384)
• India
9 Feb 16
I too had seen children eating soil..seems children like the taste but not enough to understand its negative side. Not only soil I had read in paper a child had eaten marble that got struck on their throat so on. May be the caretakers have to be careful as they are so innocent to know what is wrong and right.
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@Sreekala (22957)
• India
9 Feb 16
Hello Sham, You made me to see my old friends here. This is an old topic, I just came back to see the topic and find out so many old friend. It was a good time with all of them. Thank you. Regarding the topic, This is a great problem among children and should get treated.
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@SHAMRACK (8384)
• India
9 Feb 16
@Sreekala Those times were unforgeable... even though I was not in mylot I would just round up here just like I came to see it coming as before... yes it is really nice to our old friends... feels as if seen my class mate friend after long time...
@SIMPLYD (79762)
• Philippines
28 Aug 15
He must be seen by a doctor because he eats soil. That should be stopped because soil is dirty .
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@Sreekala (22957)
• India
9 Feb 16
That boy got treatment and get rid of the habit now.
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@SIMPLYD (79762)
• Philippines
10 Feb 16
@Sreekala That's nice to know then .
@sofssu (14460)
18 Aug 15
The child may have some iron or calcium deficiency. I have seen another child like the boy you have mentioned here.
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@Sreekala (22957)
• India
18 Aug 15
Yes, you are right, it is due to iron or calcium deficiency.
@akp100 (13328)
• India
27 Apr 13
Hi Sree Yes I have seen such kids. Honestly I don't know the reason. But may be they are lacking some important thing like iron in their body. Not sure. That's what I have heard from someone. Not only soil, I have also seen some kids eating small pieces of bricks !! This must be related to same reason I guess.
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@Sreekala (22957)
• India
9 Feb 16
I hope you too may back here in mylot. However, I have not seen you around. Hope everything is fine with you.
@mayka123 (10598)
• India
22 Apr 13
I have never figured out the reason behind this. I had a niece who would bite the cement in the walls. Her parents tried smearing the wall with chilli powder but that apparently did not work. The habit just went away after a few years.
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@Sreekala (22957)
• India
27 Apr 13
Use of chilly powder seems dangerous, if they touch and use the same finger in eyes, just imagine the consequences. Yes the habit may disappear after a particular age.
• India
19 Mar 13
Thanks for sharing. Sree beti, this is a very common problem in most houses, they lick the walls, eat chalk, pieces from fired clay even, it might be due to lack of calcium mainly; you know many women during pregnancy do this too. Let me tell you, our maid servant said, her baby ate dried excretion; it was his own
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@Sreekala (22957)
• India
19 Mar 13
Hello Sir, That is so sad to know that, don't know what she was doing by that time.
@salonga (28016)
• Philippines
19 Mar 13
Hello my friend! This is a good topic! Do you know that my youngest sister and my 3rd youngest brother used to eat soil as well? Yes they did when they were about 2 to 3 years old. So my Mom and all of the siblings would be always on guard so they could not put that dirty thing on their mouth. Once left alone on the ground, they would eat and so we would do everything to wash away the dirt out of their mouths. The doctor said it is the result of a child's sense of curiosity. They'd explore and try things to satisfy their curiosity. But sometimes this is also a result of some developmental problem or nutritional deficiency. The doctors call this condition as "pica". The good news is that this condition could be outgrown once the kid grows older. And that was what happened to my sister and brother. When they reach the age of 4, they stopped the habit.(thank God) And you know what one quite funny thing is that I also had neighbors whose kids eat not soil but rubber slippers. So all their rubber slippers... they"d keep out of their reach. If you happen to visit their house and you leave your rubber slipper by their door, they'd feast on your slipper. Hahaha! But as they grew older they outgrew their habit. They realized rubber does not taste good at all.
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@Sreekala (22957)
• India
19 Mar 13
Hello Salonga, After reading your post I realized this is the problem for a particular age and will be recovered without any treatment. Yes this boy is 2+ and I hope he will be out with this habit when be turned to 3. But the parents should be very much careful on this period, they should make sure that the boy should not eat soil. Thanks for sharing. Have a nice day.
@Pegasus72 (1901)
18 Mar 13
Sounds like he might be anemic, has pica, or he might even have lead poisoning. They need to talk to the Dr. right away.
1 person likes this
@Sreekala (22957)
• India
19 Mar 13
Hello Pegasus, The boy looks like healthy and energetic but there may be deficiencies of vitamins which lead to the problem. Thanks for joining. Have a nice day.
@lkbooi (16101)
• Malaysia
18 Mar 13
Hi Sree dear, this is the first time knowing that there is kid in your place eating soil. It's hard to believe that soil seems that delicious to him. Worrying soil would spoil the health of the boy if he keeps on eating such inedible stuffs. Your post as well as the responses I have read widen my field of vision I'm all eagerness to learn more the reason to cause such weird habit. Hopefully after visiting the pediatrician and would help to let the doubt comes out in the wash Happy posting
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@Sreekala (22957)
• India
19 Mar 13
Hi dear, Going through other posts you would have learnt about the problem. This boy looks so cute and healthy now started his playschool too. His name is Soorya (means Sun) and he always calls me whenever he passes through our home. I told his mother to talk with his doctor, I realized from her talks, she is not considering it as a problem and thinks that it is common habit by kids. But she told she will tell the same to the doctor, now she is in her in-laws place and this boy is with his grandparents. They are giving special attention to the boy, he won’t find soil around. Take care dear.
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@Cutie18f (9563)
• Philippines
17 Mar 13
I think the kid is not given enough food. He is hungry. The family has to give him food so he won't eat soil or anything dirty.
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@Sreekala (22957)
• India
19 Mar 13
Hi Cutie, If that is the case I would not start this topic here. I knew the boy is well cared by his family. Deficiency of vitamins certainly a problem now among children, kids are fond on junk foods. (Many responded, deficiency of vitamins is the reason for his habit). Thank you for joining.
@kalav56 (11503)
• India
16 Mar 13
This is a common problem and the doctor would only say that you must keep a careful watch over him. But, normally this problem starts even younger. Children are intrigued by whatever they see on they ground because they are just two feet above the ground and it is all very much within their eyesight.Moreover, they like to fidget around with their little fingers and when they see something colourful they immediately feel like putting it in their mouths.Children always like to dig into something with their tiny little fingers; I don't know why it excites them but my grandson also used to do it.It looks very charming but has adverse consequences on the nails and stomach.We have to tell them firmly not to do it and keep a careful watch. This is why they get frequent stomach disorders too.
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@Sreekala (22957)
• India
16 Mar 13
Hi dear, I agree it is a natural thing kids will keep in mouth whatever they get in hand. They are very fond of biting anything at the time of teething. They don’t know about the dangerous consequences. But here I mentioned, this boy is particularly searching soil to eat. It is not the case of keeping in mouth whatever he gets in hand. (This boy completed 2 years in the last July now started to go to playschool).
@jadoixa (1171)
• Philippines
16 Mar 13
i think this boy is suffering some kind of disorder called "Geophagy" where a person would like and enjoy eating earthy or soil-like substances such as clay, and chalk. this practice also exist in animals also in children and pregnant women. in the long run this will be dangerous for the child because of all the dirt that he can get into his body.
1 person likes this
@Sreekala (22957)
• India
16 Mar 13
Hello Jadoixa, Yes, this is a disorder, as someone told me above. Definitely the unwanted things will be dangerous to the health of the baby. It is difficult to watch and control the boy always. Getting treatment is the best option, but for that, the mother should be aware that it is problem and needed professional help. Thank you very much for joining.
• India
16 Mar 13
well, I have no idea but I have heared about a pregnant lady who like to eat soil during her pregnancy. is not that about less iron in body which makes people attract for smell of soil or eating that?
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@Sreekala (22957)
• India
16 Mar 13
Hello extremfun4fun, My goodness!!! I can't imagine if a pregnant lady eat soil. It will definitely bad for her health. May be some deficiency of vitamins lead to this habit. It should be examined and treated in time. Thanks for joining.
@natliegleb (5186)
• India
16 Mar 13
they tend to do that because they find whatever they find in all the way and also most probably when they play on the sand,they are tempted to eat it,it must be avoided
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@Sreekala (22957)
• India
16 Mar 13
Hello natliegleb, But this boy is intentionally doing this, as if he needed it badly. You know, he is living in the top floor and all places are concreted. The only option to get soil is to scratch the walls by his nails. One he realize it is a bad habit he will stop it by his own. Now he is too small to understand the problem.
@Manasha (2300)
• Pondicherry, India
17 Aug 15
Yes, I too have seen this kind of problem among some kids. This habit would disapper when they grew and if it does not consulting a doctor is best
1 person likes this
• Kochi, India
27 Apr 13
Not only small children but some adults also eat dirt.It's a natural instinct.When the minerals in our body get too low,the brain produces an affinity to dirt and anything colored and looks mineral like.It is profound in some people only.As we become adult we tend to overcome this affinity, due to our knowledge that the soil is dirty and indigestible.But for a small kid,he doesn't know that it's bad for his health,so he follows what his brain says.The tendency is called Pica, I think.
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