Pica

Common in children below 5 years of age.

DEFINITION

  1. It is the persistent ingestion of non nutritive substances (plaster, charcoal, paint, earth)
  2. For at least 1 month
  3. In a manner that is inappropriate for the developmental level
  4. Is not a part of culturally sanctioned practice
  5. Is sufficiently severe to warrant independent clinical attention

FACTORS THAT PREDISPOSE TO PICA AND ARE ASSOCIATED WITH PICA

  1. Mental retardation
  2. Maternal deprivation
  3. Parental neglect
  4. Abuse
  5. Poor socioeconomic status
  6. Malnutrition
  7. Iron deficiency

PICA MAY LEAD TO

  1. Lead poisoning
  2. Iron deficiency anemia
  3. Parasitic infestations

MANAGEMENT

  1. Behaviour modification
  2. Alleviate psychosocial stress
  3. Iron supplementation if deficiency is present

-Mrunali Gondane

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