ZocdocAnswersWhy would an 8-year-old chew his hands?

Question

Why would an 8-year-old chew his hands?

my grandosn is 8 and he chewis his fingers/palms of hand and toes / bottom of feet I think he needs to see the Dr.. and have stated so to the parents... should I worry

Answer

Children put things in their mouths as a way of discovering more about the object. We see this type of behavior common when they are babies learning about their surroundings. Your 8-year-old grandson seems to take longer to learn how to inspect something without using his mouth. With limited information, it is difficult to assess the cause of his oral fixation. Has this behavior been going on since he was a baby, or has it just recently started? Does he also chew his hands and feet elsewhere other than at home (i.e., at school). Do you notice that he does it when he is getting a lot of sensory input, like when he's watching an exciting TV show, or in a crowded room? Has he always been somewhat "high-strung" or more excitable than some other kids? Since he is chewing his body parts such as fingers and toes, it has become worrisome because he is inflicting harm to himself physically. He would probably need medications. I would recommend that you schedule a visit with a pediatrician to have your grandson evaluated and tested. If warranted, the doctor may refer him to a specialist, such as a neurologist and/or child psychiatrist. Good luck.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.