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Why Kids Do It and How to Stop

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Nose picking is a common behavior from time to time, but it is especially common and troubling in young children. Young children can do some pretty gross things, including picking their noses and sometimes eating what they dig up.

In addition to being socially unacceptable, nose picking also spreads germs. A 2018 study published in European Respiratory Journal found that picking your nose can spread the bacteria that cause pneumonia.

Furthermore, nose picking can cause trauma to the nasal passages, leading to nosebleeds, infections, and difficult-to-heal sores. If your child doesn’t pick his nose from an early age in preschool, it can become a hard habit to break as your child gets older.

Why do kids choose their roses

Nose picking is a pretty normal routine in preschoolers and there are a few reasons why young children engage in it. Sometimes children pick their noses because they are bored, stressed, or because it has become an anxious habit.

They may also pick their nose because excess moisture or dry mucus in their nose makes them feel funny and they want to get out. Whatever your child is, nose picking is something that needs to be stopped.

Risks of picking your nose

Nose picking, while annoying and unhygienic, is unlikely to cause serious problems. But not without consequences. For example, picking your nose can cause a nosebleed, especially if a sharp finger bites the delicate skin inside the nose.

If you pick your nose too hard, it can even damage the nasal cavity. One study found that people who were compulsively picking their noses (rhinoceros), experienced inflammation and swelling of their nasal tissues. Over time, it can even cause a person’s nostrils to narrow.

Other potential risks

  • Infection
  • Sick
  • Nose sores

While nose picking can provide temporary relief from nasal irritation, there are better ways to help children learn to cope with nasal problems.

How to Stop Picking Your Nose

As soon as you see your child start picking his nose, call for his attention, give him a tissue, and remind him to stop. You may have to repeat this process several times before it becomes second nature to use tissues instead of their fingers, but with consistency you will get there.

If nose picking is a new habit, there may be something in their nose, such as excess mucus, that is irritating them. Sometimes allergies, dryness, or an infection can cause discomfort and lead to nose picking. If you suspect your child may need treatment for their discomfort, talk to your healthcare provider for advice. Until then, here are some ways to stop picking your nose.

Discuss hygiene concerns

Some kids don’t even realize they’re picking their noses and it becomes an absent-minded habit. Continue to get your child’s attention and ask them to wash their hands after stopping.

Explain that picking their nose is not a clean habit and not only can their nose get infected, but it can also spread germs and make them or others sick.

Use Support

There are many products on the market designed to help children stop picking their noses, but even the simple act of putting tape on your child’s finger can do the trick, especially if they’re picking it up. subconscious. Explain why you put the tape there, so they put the tape together so they don’t pick their nose.

Replace Habits

Your child’s nose picking may be out of boredom or it may just be out of a need to be busy. If they watch a lot of television or sit passively, try to get them involved in other activities. Busy hands are less likely to get caught in the nose.

Ask for help

It’s unlikely that a simple case of nose picking is anything serious, but in some rare cases it can, especially if the behavior occurs suddenly and combined with something else ( such as bedwetting). Picking the nose could mean your child has something else going on. Compulsive nose picking, or nausea, can be caused by stress.

If you suspect your child is having trouble beyond age-appropriate nose picking, you may want to contact your child’s health care provider.

Ignore it

If you’ve tried everything you can to discourage nose picking but to no avail, you can do all you can for a while. Make sure they wash their hands often and keep their nails short and smooth. Sharp nails can cause more damage than nails smoothed with a nail file or buffer.

Help for nose problems

Sometimes nose picking is the result of irritation, dryness, allergies, or sinus problems. If your child’s nose picking is the result of one of these minor conditions, there are a few things you can do to help ease your child’s symptoms. Here are some potential remedies.

Use salt water spray

Sometimes dry air or exposure to allergens can irritate the nose. A saline spray can help moisten a dry nose as well as clear some allergens. If a saline spray doesn’t seem to be enough to moisten your child’s nose, you can also try using a humidifier in their room at night.

Try salt water

Gargling with salt water is a safe and hygienic way to clear the sinus cavities, especially if pollen and other allergens are the root cause of your child’s nose picking. Mouthwashes can also help clear nasal secretions that are causing nasal congestion, especially if they make it difficult to breathe through the nose.

Treatment of basic allergy problems

If allergies are the reason your child’s nose bothers them and eventually causes them to pick their nose, you may need to get your child’s allergies under control. This may include showering after going outside, taking antihistamines, covering with hypoallergenic blankets, and avoiding specific allergens. Talk to your child’s pediatrician or allergist to develop a plan that specifically addresses your child’s needs.

Keep enough water

Making sure your child stays hydrated is not only important for their health, but it can also help keep their nasal passages moist. Additionally, staying hydrated allows the cilia in the nose to do their job and push things like bacteria and viruses out of the sinuses, which can also prevent infection.

A very good word

Despite the hygiene issues and risks associated with nose picking, many people still practice the habit, especially children. If your child starts picking their nose, you can end the habit by repeatedly using positive reinforcement as they use a tissue instead of your finger to clear their nose.

Also, teach them how to blow their nose and have a tissue on hand at all times. This will help stop the behavior before it becomes a complete habit.

If you’re having trouble getting your child to stop picking their nose, or if their nose picking has started to cause nosebleeds or other problems, talk to your child’s pediatrician. They can assess your child’s nose as well as make recommendations on what you can do to curb the behavior.

frequently asked Questions


  • How do you clean your nose without picking it?

    If your child has a stuffy nose, you can use some saline solution and a bulb syringe to help clear the nose. But if your child is old enough to learn how to blow, you can start teaching him how to do this. One way to help them is to hold a tissue over their nose and instruct them to blow bubbles through their nose. Using a humidifier at night can also be helpful in keeping the mucus thin enough that it can be removed by blowing or using a syringe.


  • How do you stop a child from eating their boogers?

    According to health care professionals, many children eat boogers because they taste salty. To prevent your child from eating boogers, try using positive support when your child clears his nose using a tissue instead of reprimanding or scolding him for eating boogers. Also, talk to them about the fact that boogers contain germs and that picking your nose spreads germs to others. You can also try using a humidifier to keep their nasal passages moist and reduce the amount of mucus they have. If you continue to have trouble getting your child to quit eating boogers, talk to a healthcare provider for advice.


  • Why does picking his nose make it bleed?

    Nosebleeds are common, especially if your child picks his nose. While these nosebleeds usually don’t cause blood loss severe enough, they can happen easily because the blood vessels in the nose are small and thin and can burst easily. Nosebleeds can also occur because the air dries out and dries the lining of the nose, making the nose more sensitive. If your child has a nosebleed from picking their nose, have your child lean forward and breathe through their mouth while you pinch their nostrils for 5 minutes. If the bleeding still hasn’t stopped, repeat the process for another 5 minutes. If the bleeding still doesn’t stop, contact a health care provider.

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