What does it mean when babies eat paper?

What does it mean when babies eat paper?

For some children, eating dirt, paper, and other non-food materials can be a real behavioral concern. Although this disorder can also occur in adults, it’s most common in kids. Known as pica, it affects an estimated 10 to 30 percent of children ages one to six.

How do I know if my baby has pica?

If your child is in a high-risk group for pica (they have intellectual or developmental disabilities), your doctor may ask if you have seen your child eating nonfood items and for how long. If the behavior has occurred for a month or more, your doctor may diagnose it as pica.

At what age can pica be diagnosed?

Eating nonfood items must be developmentally inappropriate (for example, a child who is under 2 years of age commonly puts nonfood items in the mouth and therefore would not be diagnosed with pica until after age 2)

Why does my baby eat cardboard and paper?

It is common for children with mental difficulties to display pica behavior. Children can have pica with almost anything, including dirt, hair, ice, paper, paint chips, chalk, and wood. There are several theories on why toddlers and preschoolers develop pica.

Does pica mean autism?

Pica, or the eating of non-food items, was commonly seen in young children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other types of developmental disabilities in which the child had some autism symptoms, intellectual disability (ID), or both.

What do I do if my baby eats paper?

Feed your child a normal diet….

  1. What You Should Know About Other Swallowed Harmless Items: Your child should do fine. Try to teach your child to only put food in their mouth.
  2. Treatment: No tests or cultures are needed. No treatment is needed or helpful.
  3. Call Your Doctor If: Your child has any symptoms in the next 5 days.

What are the effects of eating paper?

Side Effects of Eating Paper Generally, Xylophagia side effects include stomach pain, bloody stool, infections, disease, bowel problems, tooth problems, intestinal blockage and tearing, and lead poisoning, to name a few. The symptoms of pica disorder vary depending on the nonfood item that was ingested.

How does pica start?

There’s no single cause of pica. In some cases, a deficiency in iron, zinc, or another nutrient may be associated with pica. For example, anemia, usually from iron deficiency, may be the underlying cause of pica in pregnant women.

How do you stop pica in children?

Put a favorite food on your child’s plate. Reward your child for eating from the plate and not putting the non-food items in his/her mouth. Talk to your child’s doctor or nurse about having his/her iron and zinc status tested. Low levels of these nutrients can contribute to pica.

How do you get rid of pica in toddlers?

There is no specific way to prevent pica. However, careful attention to eating habits and close supervision of children known to put things in their mouths may help catch the disorder before complications can occur.

Is it OK if a baby eats paper?

If your baby or toddler has eaten paper, their life may be in danger, or, they may only have an upset stomach. “Eating an object like paper, which is not sharp, toxic or caustic, is very unlikely to cause a medical problem,” says Irene Tien, MD, a board-certified pediatric ER physician with Mass General Brigham in MA.