Children are prone to nail biting (also called onychophagia) for a variety of reasons. The habit of nail biting in children is a coping mechanism for alleviating anxiety, boredom or stress due to a change in routine. Children of all ages, and even adults, can pick up the habit of nail biting for various reasons. If your child has picked up the habit, it is important that you take measures to help her overcome it. Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it also affects the health of your child in adverse ways.
An article in mercola.com says, “Your nails are an ideal location for bacteria to thrive, and that includes potentially pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli (which would love to call the underside of your nail tips home). As you bite your nails, those bacteria easily transfer into your mouth and the rest of your body, where they may lead to infections.”
There are some simple measures that you can use to stop your child from biting her nails. Bandaging the nails is one of the easiest ways of preventing your child from biting her nails. If you see your toddler getting bored, give her access to a new toy or engage with her to stop her from indulging in the habit. Stressful situations like moving houses, starting school, change in school or family issues can also make your child bite her nails. During such times, try to divert her mind by providing her with new games or fun outings. If you have older children who have this habit, you can talk to them about the various health problems that can arise due to the habit of biting nails.
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