Pica and How to Handle it | Theofania Natasya Rukma, S.Psi from Blubridge Center| Kinderkloud

Pica and How to Handle it

eating

Have you ever heard of one of the eating disorders that generally affects young children, namely Pica? Pica is an eating disorder characterized by a person eating things that are not food. However, for children under 2 years of age, this behavior is not categorized as pica, but is considered as habitual mouthing behavior.

 

What are the signs of Pica?

According to DSM V, Pica is included in the Feeding and Eating Disorder category. Children are categorized as having Pica when:

  1. The behavior of eating non-food and non-nutritive objects for at least one month.
  2. The behavior of eating objects that are not nutritious, and not the food is not appropriate according to culture or social norms. In some cultures, consuming earth is considered spiritually meaningful, or for medicine.
  3. The behavior of eating the object is not in accordance with the development of his age. In children under 2 years old, picking up objects or putting objects in their mouths is a normal in their developmental age.
  4. If the eating behavior occurs in the context of a mental disorder (such as intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia), or a medical condition (such as during pregnancy), it is important for the child to be given further attention.

Common objects consumed by children with Pica are grouped as follows: (1) biological secretions (human feces, vomit, blood, urine, etc.); (2) biological solids (skin, nails, bones, hair); (3) chemicals (copper, medicine, etc.), (4) food (potatoes, beans, lettuce, eggs); (5) organic materials (books, dust, grass, leaves, sand, etc.); (6) dangerous objects (sharp objects, matches, glass, wood).

Pica can occur during childhood, adolescence, or adulthood, although it is more common in children. PICA is more commonly comorbid with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Intellectual Disability.

Pica is classified into 5 levels, which are as follows.

1. Mild. Puttting objects in mouth and swallowing small pieces of paper or string without difficulty known

2. Moderate. Putting objects in the mouth and swallowing small pieces of paper or string or other harmless objects; experience one or two coughing up objects.

3. Severe. Putting objects in the mouth and swallowing small pieces of paper or thread or other harmless objects; experiencing one or two coughing up objects; have had an X-ray to identify pica more than once

4. Dangerous. Swallow a foreign object at least weekly; have had X-rays several times, and ingested dangerous objects

5. Life-threatening. Have had one or more dangerous object removal surgeries, and continue to exhibit pica behavior at least once every 30 to 90 days.

How to handle it?

One of the treatments that can be done for children is behavioral intervention, such as:

  1. Blocking, which prevents the child from inserting non-food objects into the mouth by placing his hand on the child's hand.
  2. Provide delicious and nutritious snacks frequently, and periodically.
  3. Give a reward when the child does not eat non-food objects for a while.

 

If the behavior persists, take your child to a professional, such as a behavior analyst, or a psychologist with experience in Applied Behavior Analyst (ABA). That would be helpful to reduce specific problematic behavior, such as Pica.

 

References :

Al Nasser Y, Muco E, Alsaad AJ. Pica. [Updated 2021 Jul 29]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK532242/

APA (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.) USA : American Psychiatric Publishing.

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/pica.html#:~:text=Pica%20is%20an%20eating%20disorder,%2Dkuh)%20go%20beyond%20that

https://familydoctor.org/condition/pica/

https://www.verywellhealth.com/pica-5083875

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/by-eating-disorder/other/pica

Pica, how to handle pica, pica symptoms,

Pre-school 2 Years - 4 Years / 2 Tahun - 4 Tahun (Balita) / Psychological Development / Tumbuh Kembang Psikologis / Education / Pendidikan / Pica and How to Handle it

Comments

Add Comment
photo of birthday tale book cover kinderkloud
Birthday Tale
Kinderkloud
Personalized book symbolizing that each child is special, wished for, longed for and play for and all the nature celebrate them together. Children will be introduced to various animals in their natural habitats along the journey.
photo of dream high book cover kinderkloud
Dream High
Kinderkloud
Personalized book to help Children imagine the professions in the future through their lens and encourage the little dreamers to explore and pursue their passion because the future is in their hands.
photo of prayer warrior book cover kinderkloud
Prayer Warrior
Kinderkloud
Personalized book to explain and the concept and importance of prayers to children and continuously remind our future generations to be mindful and thankful even for the smallest things in life. A guide book for our little prayer warriors to pray every day, everywhere and in every way.
photo of 5 colorful balloons book cover kinderkloud
5 Colorful Balloons
Blubridge Center
Balonku ada 5.. Rupa Rupa Warnanya..
Taking this classic to another level by combining this seemingly simple songs with Plutchick's Wheel of Emotions to introduce children to understand and express their feelings positively with introduction to Manners and Values in every step of the way for everyday life.
photo of starry starry paradise book cover kinderkloud
Starry Starry Paradise
Kinderkloud x Marianne Rumantir
Are you team mountain or team beach?
Personalized book to trigger the imagination and curiosity to discover the wonders of our wonderful Indonesia. The food, music, fashion, language, landscape and the culture. They all never fail to amaze us. What better legacy can we pass on for Indonesia than by instilling nationalism to the future generation of this part of the planet called heaven on earth.
photo of journey to the top book cover kinderkloud
Journey to the Top
Kinderkloud x Marianne Rumantir
Are you team mountain or team beach?
Personalized book to trigger the imagination and curiosity to discover the wonders of our wonderful Indonesia. The food, music, fashion, language, landscape and the culture. They all never fail to amaze us. What better legacy can we pass on for Indonesia than by instilling nationalism to the future generation of this part of the planet called heaven on earth.
photo of cerita di festival ceria book cover kinderkloud
Cerita di Festival Ceria
Kinderkloud | Parentalk | Good Enough Parents
Tidak ada dua yang sama persis, setiap anak memiliki kegemaran, keunikan, dan karakterisitik yang spesial termasuk Kakak dan Adik. Ikuti perjalanan mereka dalam sebuah kisah akhir pekan yang berkesan di Festival in the Jungle untuk mengeksplorasi dan mengenal diri mereka masing-masing lebih dalam lagi.
photo of preparing for a sibling book cover kinderkloud
Preparing for a Sibling
Regina F. Amal
A heartwarming story where child learns what it means to become a bigger sibling. Featuring both children, in one delightful story! Meanwhile, parents are assuring that each child will always be loved just the same. There will always be enough love for everyone.
photo of being a good sport book cover kinderkloud
Being a Good Sport
Sigi Wimala
In the heart of this whimsical THE GREAT FOREST GAME, your loved ones discovers the true essence of sportsmanship: the cherished value of friendship that outshines any victory. Experience the joy of camaraderies and empathy as your loved ones embraces the spirit of being a good sport, leaving a lasting impression on young hearts.
photo of birthday wishlist book cover kinderkloud
Birthday Wishlist
Kinderkloud x Mama Ani
This year, on a memorable birthday occasion, a caring Mom considered sharing the importance of delayed gratification. Join your loved one in crafting a birthday wishlist and discovering the Power of Patience to make each birthday genuinely extraordinary.
photo of christmas wishlist book cover kinderkloud
Christmas Wishlist
Kinderkloud x Mama Ani
This year, on a memorable christmas occasion, a caring Mom considered sharing the importance of delayed gratification. Join your loved one in crafting a christmas wishlist and discovering the Power of Patience to make each christmas genuinely extraordinary.