Mucophagia: when the child eats the snot

Mucophagia: when the child eats the snot

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Children do it naturally, almost instinctively, without anyone having taught them. They stretch out their little finger, stick it up their nose and search and search until they find it and when they have caught the mucus ... they eat it!

Many children eat their own snot naturally, without fuss and without hiding. It must be said that some adults too, a good test is to stop at a traffic light to see what the driver next to you is doing.

The act of eating mucus is known as mucophagia and, despite the fact that parents reprimand the behavior with phrases such as: 'what are you doing, are you looking for oil?' or 'if you continue like this, you are going to make a giant hole and it will stay like this', they insist on their attitude.

Why do they do it? In many cases, they have not seen this behavior at home, nor in other children, and yet they tend to pick their noses and eat their own mucus. The reason given by experts is that it is due to behaviors inherited from our ape ancestors, who exhibit this behavior naturally. They also explain that it is due to the need to take what the mucus contains. And is that mucus is mainly made up of water, protein, carbohydrates, and various cells.

For whatever reason, we parents understand that picking the nose and, by extension, eating snot is part of reprehensible habits. We try to teach our children not to do it, not only because of the negative connotations it has on a social level, but also because they are putting harmful substances that are trapped in their nose in their mouths and can cause infections.

However, there are those who claim that mucophagia is not only not harmful but can also be beneficial to health. Austrian physician Friedrich Bischinger stated that eating mucus is healthy.

The explanation he gave is that mucus contains bacteria and harmful substances that are trapped in the villi of the nose to prevent them from reaching the lungs. However, ingesting these substances can be a 'natural vaccine' that would help the immune system to strengthen itself naturally. In this way, you would be more prepared against these bacteria in case of cold or colds.

Are you convinced by Dr. Bischinger's theory? Or do you plan to continue reprimanding your children if they practice mucophagia?

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