Nail chewing and hand sucking is a common thing noticed among children from early childhood. One or both of this habit has being observed to be practiced by 85% of babies and children. Babies are most likely to enjoy sucking their hands when they start learning to talk, and chewing their nails when they begin developing little milky tooth.
But the moment a child grows beyond five years of age and still enjoy sucking of hands, there is a problem, because this is automatically becoming an addictive habit introduced into his/her brain.
The thumb is usually the most sucked finger, due to its frame size and short distinct length, while the middle finger is usually the most chewed finger, due to its extended length and position.
Children do not wake up and decide to chew their nails or suck off their finger. There are some noticeable reasons why children engage in this practice.
Reasons for Nail Chewing and Hand Sucking
The following reasons comprises of both reasons for children having their nails chewed and hands sucked.
To Reduce Boredom: In some cases, some very busy mums often tends to keep the child at a corner and face other matters at hand. Such case could be working hours when they are in the office working, or during the evening dawn when they are in the kitchen, or on steering driving. Thereby leaving the only alternative to keep the children busy all by them selves. They would of cause have nothing to do, but rather, suck up their hands quietly.
For signal: Some of these kids just cant express themselves, how they feel, what they want and other cases, so they use nail biting or hand sucking as a tactical means of sending signals to anyone responsible for caring for them there. This signals might be that they are hungry and needs something in their mouth. So a careful observation on such kids should be made to detect if that is the signal they are sending, and quickly counter it by providing their meals as soon as possible.
Imitation: This can be another easy means for children to develop this habit. It might be as a result of imitating their friend who also nail bite or sucks fingers in school, around the neighborhood, or from a kid show. As this early stage of growth and development, detecting clean and dirty habits is not always easy for them, any thing they see happening around seems to be nice, welcoming and encouraging, thereby leaving the with no choice than to imitate.. It might be hard to resist this particular factor, but patience and reminder to avoid it can really help them to gradually avoid the habit.
Natural Addict: Some of we parents and potential parents today, once suck our hands so dearly like sweets, and some persons till adults hood stills bites their nails and chew it up. So when we see this trait in our children, we should not be so harsh on them, but rather, endeavor to help them quickly stop it. For those who still nail bite or hand suck till adult hood, it has being a natural addiction to them. Though this habit is irritating to some and normal to others, it is a dirty habit. our ignorance to effective measures in helping these children them stop, might leads to a life long nail biting or hand sucking habit.
Calm nerves: This case is often noticed in adults as well as the children. Some condition whereby this applies includes being tense up in the exam hall, awaiting a job interview, and such related times for grown ups, and for children, it might be done to give them an impression that they are being satisfied and relaxed.
Many young ones who sucks their hand, most often the thumb, eventually begin chewing their nails in such process. This habit is one that need urgent care, The hand dirt’s are stored in between the nails, so when these nails are eaten up, they go to the stomach and starts manifesting. Thereby, concluding with health issues of unknown cause.
Effects of Nail Chewing and Hand Sucking
This is initially a dirty habit, and all negative habits must have their effects associated with it. Examine some of the effects of nail chewing and hand sucking below.
Health Issues: Continuous nail chewing and hand sucking is an optional means of welcoming foreign organism into the body system. Our daily action involves the use of hands, either for carrying, touching, rubbing, holding and so on, when these infected hands are linked up to the mouth, disease and germs accommodating in the hand nails strolls it way in the stomach, causing health issues, and sometimes, detaining us in the sick bay.
Poor Teeth Formation: The early chewing of nail habit, affect the structure of the tooth, causing poor dental formation, instable tooth and other teeth relating issues.
Embarrassment: It is so awkward to be spotted in a crowd or gathering chewing our nails aimlessly while we are quite mature to cut it up and keep it clean. Our hand, nails and clothing all tell more about us. So having trim nail and neat care of our hand, cloth and look would send the positive message that we are hygienic.
Possible means for Stopping Nail Chewing and Hand Sucking
Countering Boredom: If we pick up the pen and start doing little write up material about ourselves, would at least get our thought of from nailing biting and hand sucking.
Using covering: This means has proven to be helpful to some. It is the use of special hand covering to protect the hand from being sucked again. These hand covering are mostly covering the thumb finger.
Defiling: We are all humans with the complete sense of taste, we all crave toward what is sweet and enjoyable, not sour nor bitter items. If time is taken to observed this kids and spot out meals they dislike or enjoy eating, will help us to use that like threat on honor on them. Some of this threat might mean nothing, so applying some goo substance like the bitter leaf, fresh pepper or aleo vera will remind them to stay clear of that sucking hands.
Keep Mouth Busy: It is always best to find a quick solution to whatever problem we have before they are so late to be handled. To nail chewers, substituting the nail meal for bubble gum can be more efficient, because the time for chewing is not affected, but the thing chewed is affected, in that we would be chewing something, something better off than the nails.
Empower kids: This is really useful for controlling the amount time spent on disease intake by kids from putting dirty hands in their mouth. Empowering the kids here refers to giving them a pleasant gift for busying their time. These gifts includes toys. Of cause many kids loves toys, so this totally the best hit in buying their heart and keeping them gentle from hand sucking and nail biting.
Empower teens: This is exactly the same as the above discuss. But as for teen, getting a more mature gift like the laptop, comic books or video games can be bought for them. This will help them to see your care and strive hard to desist from their habit.
Present Challenge: Presenting a challenge for them to present their nails to you, maybe weekly may serve as an aid. It will restrict them from chewing it sense you would do an inspection on it and urge them to it off neatly.
Mostly important, appreciation over their little effort to stop this habit must be recommend, this will make these little kids want to makes up happy and indirectly help themselves too.