Sometimes kids have the most annoying habits, but they can be so difficult to correct. Often I find our nearly three-year-old daughter hidden under the table with her index finger inserted as far up her nostril as it will go. The prize, a slimy green booger. Yes, even darling little girls pick their noses. Unfortunately, my daughter thinks booger picking is a second snack. When I tell her to stop, she runs and hides to dig even further. I made her wash her hands, I tried time-outs, and I swatted her hands, but all are met with complete failure. It is not like I can take her fingers away like a favorite toy, but how do you explain to a small child nose picking is gross?
Apparently, there are many factors why kids like my daughter Keira take up the occupation of nose picking:
2. Allergies play a big role in kids picking their noses from the itching, sneezing, and stuffy noses. Kids have their hands near their faces due to the irritation.
3. Anxiety or stress can be another trigger of nose picking, much like nail-biting and hair-twirling. It can become habit-forming later on.
4. Curiosity is a factor for some children, especially younger ones who still learn about their body parts, and stick their fingers or even peas, corn, or Kix® cereal up their nose to explore and learn.
5. Some older children pick their nose for the taste, and often defend their actions with “But Mom, they taste sour and I like sour!” as one mom posted on a Facebook thread I saw last week.
Boogers are gross, but they do serve a purpose for our bodies to eliminate bacteria and inhaled particulates. The fine hairs called cilia trap and lock in the dust, germs, pollen, and other foreign objects as a way to keep sinuses and airways healthy. The excreted mucus then takes form into clumps or gets crusty in the nostrils to create boogers.
Austrian Lung Doctor and Professor Friedrich Bischinger says the act of picking and eating your boogers is good for your health (Web Reference). He implied taking the bacteria from your nose and ingesting it into your digestive track allows your body to build a better immune system. Dr. Bischinger believes the use of fingers is also a better way to keep sinuses clear and clean from debris, because a finger can reach boogers that blowing and a tissue cannot possibly reach. Dr. Bischinger has some great points, but to dig my index finger for green gold to be healthier does not appeal to me in the least.
Maybe my daughter’s obsession with her boogers is why she is almost never sick. I hope one day soon the booger picking will subside, and the pressure from her peers will cause embarrassment to make her stop. Until then I have the cutest little blond American Picker you ever laid eyes upon.