How To Stop A Child From Eating Soil

5 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

How to stop a child from eating soil

Children playing with soil and putting everything in their mouths is quite a natural thing. Eating soil may seem quite natural for a child, but can cause problems for their health and wellbeing. Parents often wonder how to stop a child from eating soil. Don’t worry. With some patience and a few tips, you can easily tackle this issue.

The soil or the mud is a favorite playing item for many children. But it can pose problems for the child because the soil contains many types of bacteria, viruses, and germs. These can cause mayhem to your child’s health. Therefore, how to stop a child from eating soil becomes a very natural concern for parents. So, let’s address this concern of the parents in this very article.

In This Article

Why a Child Eats Soil?

During the developmental phase of a child’s life, it is quite natural that he or she will be looking to explore everything around them. The child will touch, feel, taste, see, and smell everything that comes under their vicinity. However, sometimes, the eagerness can become dangerous if the object of exploration is soil, dirt, or mud. A child eating wall paint can be a common sight for parents, too. But, the immune system of children is very weak, and they can quickly fall prey to germs and other contaminants.

However, if this problem goes beyond the initial days of development, then it becomes a very big concern for the parents. A toddler eating paper and cardboard can be deemed as a normal thing. But if a child is doing this in their preschool stages, doctors and experts classify this as a disorder called Pica. This disorder can happen due to a deficiency of iron, zinc, or calcium. Pica is characterized by an urge in the child to eat various non-food items.

[Read: Anemia in Children]

What are the Dangers Associated With Eating Soil For a Child?

What are the Dangers Associated With Eating Soil For a Child_

A child eating sand and dirt can lead to multiple health issues related to the gastrointestinal system. Basically, these objects can block a child’s intestine and can cause health concerns. Children often put soil into their mouths with no knowledge of what the soil contains.

Today, the soil is full of pesticides and various chemicals that help enrich the soil. Plastic residues present in the soil can pose major health risks such as choking and causing hormonal imbalances. Apart from that, here are some other things that might happen to your child’s health because of eating soil:

Is There Any Positive Side of a Child Eating Soil?

child with soiled hand

Parents often worry about the dark side of things, which is quite natural. As a parent, though, you should be neutral. Before you look for child-eating mud treatment, just think, is there any positive side to eating soil for a child?

1. Cures Stomach Pain

White clay contains a substance called Kaolin, which forms an ingredient in stomach ache medication. However, too much Kaolin can cause constipation and is not safe for the child.

2. Helps Digestion

Some bacteria in the soil are good for digestion. When such bacteria get into the body of the child, then it will improve the digestive function.

3. Minerals For the Body

Soil is filled with minerals. Hence, hypothetically, eating soil can supplement the body’s mineral requirement to some extent.

4. Emphasis on Hygiene

Another hypothesis asserts that when the child eats soil or mud and faces health issues, they will understand the importance of hygiene and maintaining good habits. This will be quite beneficial for the child in the long run.

5. Immunity Development

The immune system of the child will work in a better way if it is trained properly. Basically, it releases antibodies that fight against certain bacteria or germs. If the immunity system is not trained at a young age, then it might become the cause of various autoimmune diseases.

[Read: How Can I Stop My Baby From Putting Everything In The Mouth?]

How Can a Child Be Stopped From Eating Soil?

How Can a Child Be Stopped From Eating Soil

Children eating soil is one of the many common concerns about their children. One parent once asked us why does my child eats paper? Well, it is the natural tendency of a child as they are looking to explore the surroundings.

Here are some of the things that you can do to prevent your child from doing these kinds of activities:

  • Dust your house properly so as to remove any soil or dust.
  • A toddler eating hair can be dangerous as well and so, look for
  • Keep your garden clean of animal feces if you have pets.
  • Keep potted plants away from your child’s reach.
  • Install a fence outside your garden and keep an eye on the child while they are playing in the garden.
  • Most importantly, educate your child about hygiene and the importance of washing hands after playing in the mud.


  • Eating soil can often be due to nutritional deficiencies in children. Some doctors believe that children eating soil can indicate calcium deficiency. Check with your child’s pediatrician, and you can start your child on supplements if necessary.
  • Stomach worms may also push children to eat soil, sometimes, though the reason is not fully understood. You can again talk to your child’s doctor and give a course of deworming medication to your child.
  • Talk to your child and constantly reinforce the necessity to stop eating soil. You can reward them with toys or something they like when they listen to you.
[Read: Teaching Children The Importance Of Hand Washing]

As you now have a fair idea of how to stop a child from eating soil, make sure to stay vigilant whenever your child is out in the mud. If your child has eaten mud and is feeling sick, then consult with a doctor immediately. Evasive measures will go a long way in helping your child with proper recovery from any infection due to eating soil.


1. Why Does My 2-Year-Old Love Eating Soil?

It is just a phase. They are very curious about their environment. They want to explore.

2. Can My Child Eating Soil Indicate a Deficiency?

There are chances. Observe when they eat soil. It could be just curiosity or boredom.

3. When Will My Child Stop Eating Soil?

They will wean out on their own. This varies from child to child.

4. Is Eating Soil Dangerous For My Baby?

Most certainly yes. The soil might be contaminated with pesticides. Not to forget sharp or inedible objects.

Read Also: Pica in Children

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

Responses (0)

Please check a captcha

Want curated content sharply tailored for your exact stage of parenting?

Discover great local businesses around you for your kids.

Get regular updates, great recommendations and other right stuff at the right time.


Our site uses cookies to make your experience on this site even better. We hope you think that is sweet.