Pica is an eating disorder that involves eating items such as hair, dirt, stones or any item not typically considered as an item of food.
Signs and Symptoms of PICA
- The persistent eating, over a period of at least one month, of substances that are not food.
- Typical substances ingested tend to vary with age and availability. They may include paper, soap, cloth, hair, string, wool, soil, chalk, talcum powder, paint, gum, metal, pebbles, charcoal, ash, clay, starch, or ice.
- The eating of these substances must be developmentally inappropriate. (for example children mouthing objects is a normal part of development in under 2 year olds), which allows the child to explore their senses.