HELP! MY KID IS EATING DIRT!

Kids do gross things. Sometimes they eat dirt. But did you know that eating dirt can be a sign of a medical problem? If your child eats dirt, he may be anemic. The medical term for eating something non-nutritive is “pica.” By definition, pica lasts a month or longer (it’s not a one-time thing). You can have pica for just about anything, but common offenders are dirt, paint, ice, paper, clay, sand, and metal. I once had a patient who had pica for foam. The mom didn’t notice his pica until he had eaten a good portion of his...

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