What is Pica?
Pica is an eating disorder, in which kids constantly eat items that have no nutritional value on a regular basis and soil too that can adversely affect the health of the kids. So it is important that we should help kids to overcome with Pica.
Many toddlers have a habit of eating crayons, chalk, and other things but as soon as we parents notice it we try to snatch it away. Gradually the child stops eating the non-food items. But when a child is suffering from Pica he/she will continuously eat the non-food items. The reason can be nothing or it can be because of stress, anxiety.
Having a habit of eating fried food, candy, cold drinks, is however not considered as Pica. Though these foods are not nutritional yet they are accepted as food items.
Pica considers only non-food items like Dirt, Soap, Hair, Plastic, Glue, Eraser, Chalk, Metal, and wire, Clay, Paint chips. In children and pregnant women, it goes away within a few months. But in some people, it stays
Causes of Pica
Pica can be caused because of mental health disorders associated with diseases like Autism, spectrum, schizophrenia.
The deficiency of iron, zinc, or another essential nutrient may be associated with pica.
Symptoms of Pica
* Stomach upset
* Stomach pain
* blood in the stool
How we can help the child to overcome pica and how it is to be treated?
Tell their teachers or the caregivers that your child has a pica. Do let them know what non-food items your kid tends to eat and in what situation. So that it can be taken care of in a careful manner. If the children are having pica, he/she shouldn’t be allowed to go outside
We can take care of it, by giving punishment to our kids, so that they will start having normal and nutritious food. And in other cases, medicine is going to help if pica is a part of a developmental disorder that is a mental disorder or some other issues.
And the most important thing which needs to be done is that parents and caregivers should give proper attention when kids are having their food and ensure close supervision of children, then only we can help our kids to overcome with pica.