As many parents would agree, witnessing a child pick their nose in public is rather unbecoming, but very common. However, what they do with their boogers next is what has many parents concerned. Yet, there’s a new report that says moms and dads don’t have to worry about their children becoming so-called “booger eaters” because there are actually some health benefits from them.
Boogers or “snots” are mostly made out of water but is also made of tiny particles like germs, dust, and pollen. When air debris gets trapped inside a child’s nose, it mixes with snot and mucus to become a booger. Some people believe that most children eat their boogers because they taste salty.
According to a new study (via Scary Mommy), researchers are now encouraging parents now to discourage their children from picking their noses because they actually contain some health benefits.
The study, spearheaded by MIT biological engineering professor Katharina Ribbeck, found that there is new evidence that the mucus kids pick from their noses can help prevent respiratory infections, stomach ulcers, and even HIV.
With that being said, parents shouldn’t be actively encouraging their kids to pick their noses, either. There are as many health cons as there are pros to being a gold digger, so to speak.
Ribbeck’s study also found that children who picked their noses were more likely to have staphylococcus in their systems compared to non-nose pickers. Staphylococcus is a bacterium that causes staph infections. Once a child puts their finger in their nose, their finger turns into a petri dish of germs that will spread to everything they touch.
As far as how parents can stop their children from putting boogers in their mouths, there are several different techniques they can use. Child educational experts suggest using positive reinforcement to help stop the behavior. Parents should also find out why their child is picking their nose in the first place, as it might be connected to a behavioral issue. It is believed that many kids pick their noses as part of obsessive-compulsive disorder or as a soothing habit to reduce their anxiety.
Also, parents are advised to promote good hygiene. Children who choose to pick their noses should clean their hands before and after the process.