307.52 PICA

Some form of indiscriminate eating is seen in 50% of children 11/2 to 3 years of age and 10% of children older that 12. In small children, inadequate supervision may make it a serious problem. Lead poisoning, from old paint or contaminated dirt, is not uncommon. Mentally retarded persons are at higher risk, with the behavior occasionally reaching bizarre and dangerous proportions. Parents frequently need support and education so that they can appropriately attend to their children and decrease the indiscriminate eating.

In children, iron supplements usually stop pica in less than seven days (Blinder et al., 1989); the reason is unclear, since anemia is not always present.

Behavior modification ...

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