If your son bites his nails, we tell you some tips and strategies to put aside this habit.
Why do they bite their nails?
In the US, around 20 to 25% of children chronicle their nails , says pediatrician Michael Dickinson through Today’s Parent magazine .
Categorized as a nervous habit, children would do so when feeling stressed, restless, bored or anxious , since biting their nails would be comforting, explains psychologist Amy Morin at the Verywell portal .
While most children who bite their nails would have no major drawbacks, this habit could lead to a condition called paronychia, which involves infection and inflammation of the skin surrounding the nails , says pediatrician Cindy Gellner through from the University of Utah of the USA .
In addition, if they are bitten chronically for many years they could also cause permanent damage to their nails, he adds.
Strategies for you to give up this habit
– Cut your nails daily
Being short will accumulate less dirt, decreasing the risk of bacteria entering your body by bringing your fingers to your mouth, suggests Morin. Follow more advice from the professional.
– Find a substitute
Look for something healthy that your child can bite, such as celery stems or carrots. Avoid giving sugary products, as they could generate addiction.
– Create a gesture to indicate that you must stop
Agree on a signal or word that you can tell when you see that you start to bite your nails. This will not only keep you from being embarrassed, but it will help you become more aware of your habit.
– Use a reward system
Keep a record that counts the days or hours your child has gone without biting his nails and offer him a reward when he manages to avoid doing so for prolonged periods.
– Put on bitter Nail Polish
To avoid biting, nothing better than painting your kids nails with a bitter taste nail polish. Make sure it is safe for kids.
– Encourage physical activity
Doing regular exercise, be it a sport or aerobic activity or, even yoga, could help you manage stress and anxiety, recommends psychologist Dawn Huebner on the Parenting portal . Next, another advice from the expert.
– Avoid criticizing your kid
Instead of calling her attention because she is biting her nails, congratulate her when she is not doing it.
If you have doubts, consult a health professional.
And you, what strategy will you put into practice first?