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Q&A:
Why does my 19-month-old grandson eat fuzz and hair?

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Question


Why does my 19-month-old grandson eat speaker fuzz, hair, blanket fuzz, carpet fuzz -- are you getting the picture? I try to discourage him but thus far have been very unsuccessful. He comes to me when he's choking on it so I can pull iWhy does my 19-month-old grandson eat speaker fuzz, hair, blanket fuzz, carpet fuzz -- are you getting the picture? I try to discourage him but thus far have been very unsuccessful. He comes to me when he's choking on it so I can pull it from his mouth.

Answer


Many children favor a specific kind of sensory input and using your mouth is part of the exploration of objects in early childhood. However, in your grandson's case, his preferences are getting him into trouble. Before long, he'll build up a ball of fuzz in his stomach, a bezoar, that will cause him a problem. Or the fuzz can get caught in his throat as you describe. Everyone who sees him doing this needs to stop him immediately and then give him something else that is fascinating to do. You need to find a substitute, perhaps a furry animal whose fur stays on, a satin-edged blanket to rub -- you get the idea. Sometimes children with developmental difficulties or anemic children develop these kinds of habits. If you have any concerns along those lines, bring him to his health care provider. He's due for his 18-month checkup soon. Go to the section of this site that outlines what we expect for kids that age and see how he's matching up. Have his parents bring that information to the health visit.  
 
 
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