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Does your child have Pica?

Does your child have Pica?

Kids tend to put non-food items into their mouth at one time or another. Pica is a term that refers to cravings for substances that are generally not eatable. These can include stones, chalk, faeces, paint and clothing. While some of the objects that they eat, pass through the body without any harm, Pica can be a very serious eating disorder that can sometimes result in health problems such as lead poisoning and iron deficiency anemia.

Pica is common in people with developmental disabilities, including autism and mental retardation and especially seen in children between the ages of 2 and 3. It may also surface in children who have had a brain injury that affects their development. The exact cause of pica is unknown and could be linked to mineral deficiencies; but often, it is due to learned behaviours such as social attention, sensory feedback and escaping from a situation.