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Nose Picking In Toddlers

4 min read

Even well-intentioned parents can get annoyed by many habits and behavior of their children. Most of the parents start to scold and punish their children to get rid him of that habit. But, it is better to keep in your mind that focusing excessively on his misbehavior sometimes makes your child more stubborn. The good news is that most of the childhood habits are harmless and your child will will outgrow them if you do not dwell on it.
Nosepicking in toddlers
Nose picking is one of the most common bad habits seen among young kids (as well as in adults). It is also one of the most annoying behavior to the parents as it is the least socially acceptable behavior. But it is not something that will harm your child in any way, and most kids outgrow this habit by the time they start mid-level schooling.

Why Do Toddlers Pick Their Nose?

There are lots of children who through the phase of nose picking and there are several reasons for this habit. Figuring out the reason will help you to make your kid get rid of the habit without much fussing. Even though most of the reasons behind such unacceptable habits like thumb sucking, nail biting etc. are blamed on anxiety or stress, there can be a lot of other reasons behind your toddler’s annoying habit of picking the nose. However, anxiety is not the only reason your toddler chooses to pick his nose, as you can read below:

  • Boredom: Sometimes, picking the nose is brought on your toddler by boredom. That is he is so bored and is doing it just to entertain himself
  • Mimicking: Your child might have seen someone else picking the nose. Most probably, elder siblings or other grownups at the house hold might have been seen picking the nose and your child might have gotten the idea from there. All children show a tendency to mimic the adults. And they usually catch the bad behavior faster than the good ones
  • Practical reasons: When your toddler catches a cold, a heavy flow of mucus followed by the crusting occurs in the nose. This will urge the child to touch it. The crusting can also occur from minor trauma or allergy. Once they find some fun in doing so, they will find it difficult to leave the nose alone even after the cold is gone
  • Drying out of nasal passage: Sometime air-conditioning, traveling in a vehicle with open windows or several climatic changes can result in drying out your toddler’s nasal passage. This will again tempt him to pick the nose

Does Nose-Picking Cause Any Harm To My Child?

Generally, though disgusting, nose picking is a completely harmless habit. But there are some significant points to take care of:

  • If the crusting inside the nose is because of some trauma occurred, the complete healing of the wound will delay if the kid always tends to pick the dried external crust
  • The chances of getting an infection increases as the child always putting his uncleaned finger inside the nose. This can spread infections like flus and colds
  • Picking is the most significant reason behind the nose bleeds found among the children
  • Picking the nose increases the risk of respiratory diseases, as the respiratory virus can pass from the hand to the nose easily
  • Rubbing the eyes after picking the nose increases the chances of eye infection

Child picking his nose

How Can I Get Rid Of My Toddler’s Habit Of Picking His Nose?

Most of the children leave this habit in due course of time. But, if the habit of picking the nose gets in the way of his every day activities or the number of embarrassing (public) incidents increase, you should never hesitate to take action to encourage your child to get rid of the habit of picking the nose. Some of the tips are:

  • Wrapping the finger: Wrap a bandage on the index finger. This will make it harder for your child to put the finger inside the nose.
  • Cut the nails: Keep the finger nails of your child clipped short. This will not allow to pick the nose as good as with a nailed finger and gradually he may lose interest in picking the nose
  • Convincing tactically: Convince your child that picking the nose publically is not a right thing. You can tell some build up a story of some other child get badly affected because of this habit
  • Make a secret signal: Create a warning signal like a secret code, preferably with the help of the child, for reminding him to stop picking the nose the moment he start to do it. For this, closely watch your kid. Once he follows your signal and stops picking the boogies, congratulate him. After all, all of them like being appreciated
  • Never nag your kid: Never criticize or punish him for this habit. It could make him stick to it adamantly. Instead, pay more attention for his positive qualities
  • Keep your child’s finger occupied: Give something in his hand like a smiley ball or car whatever he likes while he needs to sit for some time, like watching TV or traveling. This will occupy his fingers and stop them digging into the nose
  • Insist hand washing: Insist your child to wash his hand every time after picking the nose. This can benefit in two ways. The chances of getting an infection can get reduce because the frequently cleaned fingers seldom carry germs. Another benefit is that slowly your child will stop this habit because most of the toddlers don’t like to wash his hand more frequently especially when they are in the middle of some activities

Don’t bother about your child’s habit of picking the nose. This habit will disappear as your child grows up and his hands get to engage in more interesting tasks. If not, he will definitely stop the habit or at least motivated to stop the habit when another child points out how disgusting is his habit when he became a preschooler.

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