Have you ever been at the park, eating at a restaurant or worse, chill-axing on your own couch when you look over and see your child elbow deep in their nose searching for buried treasure? Whether they eat it, wipe it on their sleeve or flick across the room, my stomach churns at the sight of nose picking. Unlike other bad habits, that you can “ignore and they will disappear”, nose picking is one of those habits that has be stopped, for both social and hygienic reasons.
Why do kids pick their nose?
What was once thought to be a nervous habit, seems to be related to the simple problem of discomfort. There is something in their nose causing a tickling, itchy or uncomfortable sensation and they use their finger to remove this stimulation. The most common kids to become nose pickers are those will allergies. Allergies cause an increase in mucous flow which results in a crust layer inside the nose. This leads to discomfort, which leads to extraction. This vicious cycle repeats its self as the body attempts to protect the nasal cavity from the allergens.
How to prevent nose picking
- Adjust the Environment – Nasal cavities tend to dry out when environment is dry. Whether its spending too much time indoors during the summer when the air conditioning is pumping or in the winter when the heater is on, the dry air causes our nasals passages to dry out resulting in uncomfortable crust. By using a humidifier, you can add moisture back into the air, allowing the nasal and sinus cavity to be lubricated.
- Correct allergies – When a child with allergies comes in contact with those allergies, the nasal system kick into high gear, over producing mucous to flush out the allergen. By removing the stimulate, the nasal cavity will not produce the irritants that cause little fingers to wander.
- Keep hydrated – If you find yourself trapped indoors with the air or furnace pumping, keep your child hydrated with lots of water to prevent their nasal passage ways from drying out. If that isn’t enough, hydrate the nasal passageway with a nasal spray like Boogie Mist! Boogie Mist is a non-medicated sterile saline mist that works quickly inside the nasal cavity to ease congestion, loosen boogers and minimize discomfort that encourages picking. It comes in two great flavours; grape and fresh scent! The easy to use Schnozzle, gives the independence and confidence that hopefully avoids future picking sessions.
- Use a tissue – Most times, kids resort to their finger due to conveniences or lack of knowledge how to properly blow their nose. Showing them how to open a tissue, cover the entire nose and blow gently. This will prevent germs as well as teach good hygiene skills. A fun tool to use is a Boogie Wipes. They are soft tissues that come in a convenient travel package. Each tissue is covered in a saline solutions to help dissolve boogies on contact. They come in great scents like grape, fresh scent, and unscented.
Unfortunately, all children, at one time or another, will pick their nose. It is a way from them to explore their body and make themselves more comfortable. With these tips and tools, you can help them overcome their discomfort in a socially acceptable way!