«Your baby eats sand,» is an exclamation from the playground heard at least five times a day. «I’m a zebra!» the boy shouts and starts grazing grass from the lawn. And who is without sin? We all made cakes, and in the end there was sand everywhere, even in our mouths. Strawberries from the garden, freshly pulled carrots, wiped on pants — all this seemed much tastier than washed and from the table.
«A child learns the world,» says pediatrician Marina. — No matter how you explain that you can’t eat things from the floor, the baby will still do it his own way. Children are inquisitive, they definitely need to taste everything, so at least once in their lives, but you will have to face the fact that your child will come after a walk and by indirect signs you will guess that if not sand, then he definitely ate grass. There is no need to panic because of this. It happens to everyone one day. The main thing is that eating earth, garbage and the like does not become a habit.»
Why is he eating this?
In fact, there may be several reasons. Psychologists believe that eating sand and earth is associated with a lack of attention.
«All children are little egoists who do not want to share their parents with anyone in the world,» comments family psychologist Marina. — When for the tenth time the kid asks to play with him or build a beautiful sand castle, and in response he hears only «wait a minute more», the toddler begins to think hard about how to distract mom and dad from the phone. It comes to mind to do something shocking and unusual. For example, to eat part of the tower from a sand castle or to stuff a lump of earth into your mouth. That’s when parents will definitely pay attention.»
Educators say that a bad example is contagious, toddlers from the nursery group often copy the behavior of older children. But nutritionists associate an unusual addiction to food with a lack of vitamins and minerals.
«The child’s body is thus trying to replenish substances that are in short supply,» says nutritionist. — If the baby is chewing chalk, then there are all signs of a lack of calcium. By the way, from edible products, this mineral is found in sesame, cheese, cabbage, milk and almonds. Have you noticed that the child often chews sand and earth? Perhaps it lacks silicon, which can only be obtained from the outside — from food, vitamin complexes, etc. The body does not synthesize this element independently. Also, a special love for the earth and sand may indicate anemia, which is characterized by a low hemoglobin content in the blood. For an accurate diagnosis, a general blood test in dynamics is necessary.»
The more dangerous the «delicacy»
is If the child is not yet three years old, then you just need to keep an eye on him and not leave him alone, especially in the sandbox or on the street. When it comes to a baby from 3 to 5 years old, then a conversation is needed here.
Sand is dangerous because it can easily get into the respiratory tract, damage the mucous membrane. If you do not help the child in time, then playing in the sandbox can turn into a tragedy.