Weird but true: Thumb-sucking, nail-biting have a positive side too

According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, the two childhood habits of thumb-sucking and nail biting have a positive side too. Children who suck their thumbs or bite their nails may be less likely to develop allergies later in their lives, the study reveals that spanned three decades. Children who are thumb-suckers or nail-biters are less likely to develop allergic sensitivities, the studies suggest.

Although the results do not suggest that kids should take up these habits, the findings do suggest the habits help protect against allergies that persists into adulthood, the researchers said.

“We certainly don’t recommend encouraging nail-biting or thumb-sucking, but perhaps if a child has one of these habits and it is difficult for them to stop, there is some consolation in the knowledge that it might reduce their risk of allergies,” says researcher.

How to stop thumb-sucking, nail-biting

Thumb-sucking & Nail-biting is a common habit in kids that usually stops on its own by the time they start going school. However, in some cases, the thumb-sucking habit is hard to break even after they enter their adulthood.

Here are some tricks that might be very helpful if you want your kid to quit these habits:

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Many children suck their thumb or bite their nails only at certain times. Try to find out when does your kid bites nail! While watching TV, while waiting for dinner, while feeling bored or what? Once you analyse his urge to bite the nails, you can work out with this.

Try to distract him or keep him busy when he feels like that. You can use positive reinforcement. You can set up a reward system for your kid, marking the day on calendar when he didn’t bite nails for a complete day.

If your kid has a habit of sucking thumb while asleep, you can try covering his thumb with a thumb guard, a small puppet or a band-aid. Likewise, having nail polish on may push back the urge to bite nails. It might disturb the sleep patterns of your kid, but give it a try, it will go smooth after a couple of days.

It’s hard for a kid to suck their thumb or bite their nails if their hand is in use. Distract your child with activities that require two hands. If you keep him busy with video games, drawing, sketching or some outdoor games for a long time, it might help your kid to forget the habits that haunt. Keeping their nails short can also help them quit biting. Keeping mouth busy with chewing gum can also help.

Also Read: Weird but True – Morning Saliva is actually a healing thing

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