Why do kids eat chalks and erasers?
By: Shahzeb Hussain
Pica, is the pattern of eating disorders, that occurs not only in children but also in adults; it is a serious eating disorder that can seriously affect one’s body. However it is to be noted that pica occurs more commonly in children. It is unknown how one is affected by ‘pica’, although some factors may influence it because, such as nutrition deficiencies of iron and zinc, malnutrition and developmental problems such as schizophrenia and autism.
Pica is generally associated on the consumption of non-food items, and can lead to serious health issues such as lead poisoning, and iron deficiency anemia. Children eat lots of things, things that shouldn’t be eaten; however eating non food items does not necessarily mean the child has pica. If your child is seen eating non-food items for over one month, you might need to consult your doctor.
People diagnosed with pica eat all sorts of non-food items, for example, lead, erasers, hair and even feces. Children however are much more prone to these eating disorders. I remember a friend of mine who used to eat erasers all the time, and once he told me I should try it to because it tastes really good. I tried to but, I just couldn’t do it. I was 6 at the time.
Now, that I think about it, he ate a lot of things, erasers, flower petals, tooth paste and even glue. I’m quite surprised how his parents never took notice of this issue, because it’s one that can lead to some serious health problems down the road.
Fact is a lot of children in school indulge in eating their stationary. It’s a good thing that a lot of schools that use chalk boards, have non-toxic chalks. But the kids gulping their stationary is still a problem. Did you know there’s a woman in the United States that eats a bar of soap every day?
So, now that we know why kids eat non-food items, what can we do about it?
Well for starters get your child the help he/she needs. If you see your child eating or trying to eat non-food items, consider taking him/her to the doctors. If you know your child has a tendency to put things in his mouth, be vigilant and ask their school teacher to keep an eye on him or her.
So what do you think? Have you ever consumed non-food items? Know anyone who does?
Let us know!