Many children have a bad habit of constantly biting their nails. It is a disorder that is called onychophagia, and if it is not treated in time, it can cause health problems in the child.
It is the parents’ job to determine why the little one is biting his nails and solve this problem as soon as possible.
Nail biting in childhood
Nail biting from a young age is an obsessive compulsive disorder that usually occurs after four or five years. The normal thing is that it is something temporary, although there are cases in which this disorder lasts over time, seriously affecting the child’s health. If this happens, such a habit leads to obsessive compulsive disorder that must be treated as quickly as possible.
What are the causes of nail biting
The main causes that can lead a child to bite their nails are of a mental nature, such as a level of stress and anxiety that is too high. Other causes may be due to moments of fatigue or boredom.
Consequences of nail biting
There are several consequences of a child biting his nails in a compulsive and habitual way:
- Wounds appear on the skin in the form of hangnails. These wounds are quite annoying and painful. In many cases, the wounds end up infecting, and they must be cured so that the thing does not go away.
- Frequent nail biting makes warts more likely to appear on the fingers.
- Another consequence is the formation of ingrown nails. If this happens, it is important to go to a podiatrist to treat them.
- In the most extreme cases, the fingers can become deformed.
- By putting fingers in their mouths so many times, there is a greater risk of children getting stomach infections.
How to get your child to stop biting their nails
- The child must be aware at all times that nail biting is not good at all and that it is a habit that should be stopped as soon as possible. Parents should sit down with the child and talk openly about the issue.
- You have to deal with the subject in a calm way and without getting nervous. If your child is constantly reprimanded, the problem may become even more serious.
- It is good that the child has something in his hands and has them occupied. This way, the child won’t be tempted to put the hands to his/her mouth.
- The appearance of the hands is another important aspect to improve. It is good to improve the appearance of them and avoid the comments of other children.
- If there are no results, parents can apply some type of product to the child’s nails that cause the child to stop biting their nails.
- If the child continues with this bad habit despite everything, it is advisable to go to a professional who can end such a problem.