Young children are not familiar with the rules of etiquette. You can often notice picking nose in children – this is something no well-mannered adult can afford to do. It is not enough to wean a child from picking his nose in public if it has become a habit. Children will continue to do this constantly at home in secret.
The consequences can lead to problems if parents do not pay attention to such behavior of the child in time. The process itself is not terrible – everyone does it, many even every day. It is bad if this habit is strongly rooted in childhood. In this publication, we will consider the reasons for the constant picking of the nose by children and what it is fraught with.
Why Babies Pick Their Nose?
The statistics of scientists confirm that every person picks his nose every day. But everyone spends a different time on this – from one minute to two hours a day. A long process that repeats every day may indicate a problem.
Children actively explore the world, including tactilely. Biting nails and picking nose is part of the process of self-discovery, so there is virtually no cause for concern. It is worth looking for reasons if the habit has remained or worsened in the future.
Persistent nose-picking in children ages 3 and older can be caused by one of the following:
Imitation of adults: Children are very curious and can repeat the most unexpected things after adults. Often they may not understand the meaning of what is being repeated. It will not be easy to wean if it has become a habit.
Accumulation of dirt in the nasal cavity: A huge amount of air passes through our nostrils every day. Accumulated dust over time begins to irritate the nasal mucosa. Removing accumulated dirt with fingers is a completely natural reaction to an irritant. Sometimes irritation is caused by allergic reactions, and need to see a doctor.
Neurotic habit: It is better to consult a psychologist in this case. This habit can be the result of constant stress. The baby feels relief from fear or confusion by picking his nose. It gradually takes root on a subconscious level.
Can Picking Nose Harm Babies?
A momentary physiological need to clear the nostrils, a child’s curiosity, or an ingrained manner can equally affect a child’s health. The inner surface of the nostrils is at risk. A sharp fingernail can easily scratch the skin until it bleeds. Often this happens when traveling in a car – a slight sudden movement leads to injury. There is a risk of infection if the child’s hands are dirty.
The mental health of the child is also at risk. The habit may be stress-related and there is a possibility of aggravation of the situation. The child may be ridiculed by peers at kindergarten/school for inappropriate behavior and become withdrawn and intimidated. The remark of an adult can also be frightening if it is expressed in a rude form.
Prevent Injuries and Sickness When Baby Picking Nose
The physiological need for baby nose picking exists when a lot of dust and dirt has accumulated in the nostrils. Constant mechanical impact on the inner surface of the body is fraught with health consequences. Prevent the occurrence of some unpleasant diseases by weaning the child from constantly picking his nose.
Constant formation of crusts
Constant exposure to the inside of the nose leads to the formation of dried crusts. They are small at first but gradually increase with a long process of exposure to mucus. Constant drying leads to difficulty in breathing due to subatrophy and then atrophy. The result may be a perforation of the nasal septum and the inevitability of surgical intervention.
Sycosis of the nose vestibule
Constant nose picking leads to damage to the area where nasal hairs form. Children do not yet have these hairs, but bulbs are laid in the skin – they are under the threat of destruction. Otolaryngologists note that it is possible to damage the sweat and sebaceous glands located in a separate part of the nose – the vestibule. Inflammation of this part is called sycosis and is accompanied by purulent discharge.
Formation of boils and other growths
Unwashed hands are a threat to the immune system, the organs of the digestive system, and the organs of smell. There is a chance of infection if dirty fingers damage the inside of the nose.
Infection is the cause of abscesses – boils. Furuncles combine into an even larger purulent formation – carbuncles if they are not removed in time. The carbuncle greatly affects breathing and circulation and can be removed surgically.
Mucociliary clearance disorder
Mucociliary clearance is a special small villus inside the nose. They have the function of pushing mucus out or into the nasopharynx. Violation of mucociliary clearance often leads in the future to the development of bronchopulmonary diseases.
It is impossible to know the curvature of the nasal septum without consulting an otolaryngologist. There is a high chance of damaging the nasal septum by constantly sticking fingers inward. This will entail frequent bleeding even with the slightest impact on the nose from the outside.
How To Stop Baby From Picking Nose
You need to determine the cause of the constant picking in the nose. It is common for babies to poke their fingers everywhere – this is how they get to know the world. It is worth thinking about methods for eliminating the problem if this behavior has not disappeared when the baby has grown up.
Children’s doctors do not recommend radical methods. Do not yell at the child, intimidate, etc. – the child will only be more stressed. Methods based on smearing fingers with pepper, mustard, or similar substances can be completely dangerous. The mucous membrane of the baby is very delicate, there is a possibility of getting a burn, followed by a partial loss of smell. There are other, less traumatic methods.
It’s not so much about fighting the habit, but about eliminating the causes of its occurrence. Air temperature and humidity greatly affect the functioning of the respiratory tract. The nose dries out if the air is dry and hot. The kid will involuntarily put his fingers in his nostrils.
The influence of annoying factors will decrease to a minimum and there will be no need for constant picking under optimal conditions. Doctors recommend installing a humidifier and a thermometer in the children’s room. This makes it easier to maintain comfortable conditions in the room.
Teach the child about personal hygiene
Babies need to have their ears and nose cleaned regularly. You will need hygienic cotton swabs. Toddlers often let out snot – this is how the body brings out mucus and accumulated dust. Some of the dust remains inside. Periodic cleaning will help eliminate all unnecessary and there will be no need to climb with fingers. The child will be able to independently clean the nostrils when he grows up.
Make an appointment with a doctor
Itching from the inside of the nose can be caused by allergic reactions. Only an otolaryngologist can find out. Treatment will help level it and prevent the child from constantly needing to pick his nostrils with his fingers if the cause is really in allergic pathogens. A consultation with a doctor will help identify other causes of discomfort.
Lead a quiet educational conversation
Toddlers aged 3-5 years can already explain the elementary rules of etiquette. Speak as calmly as possible and without intimidating phrases. Remark in a friendly tone if you notice that after a while the child picks his nose again. Just remind him of the agreement not to do this and try to switch his attention.
Take a closer look at the immediate environment: perhaps the child simply adopted the habit from one of the family members. We will have to carry out educational work with this person, so that he does not pick his nose, at least in front of a child.