Nail biting is a common nervous habit that typically begins in childhood. Studies show 60% of children and 45% of teenagers bite their nails. Nail biting becomes less common after age 18, but it can continue into adulthood. Your child may bite his nails for any number of reasons – curiosity, boredom, stress relief, habit, excitement or imitation. The problem can range from a mild, occasional habit to an ongoing and more serious problem.
The occasional nail biter normally does not need help, but if your child exhibits a constant need to chew his nails, stop the behavior as soon as possible to avoid a growing habit. Nail biting can evolve into the more serious compulsive form, characterized by bleeding, infections or destruction of the nails and surrounding skin. Parents can use home remedies and treatments to teach their children not to bite their nails. There's no sure cure for common nail biting, but you can try to break the habit with these home remedies.


1.Cover Nails with Clear Nail Polish

Apply some Clear nail polish to your child‘s nails. Clear nail polish can make the nails harder, more difficult to bite. The clear colored nail polishes with minimal shine can be used by boys also; it may not be as noticeable and be a possible option for a boy. There are some anti nail biting, nail polish products available, which taste vile. Coat your kid‘s nails with a bitter-tasting nail biting polish. The nasty taste will discourage him/her from biting. You can also use a regular clear or colored nail polish to prevent nail biting. The same technique can work with your child.

2.Petroleum Jelly Nails

Slather a small amount of petroleum jelly underneath each of the child's fingernails so that when he begins to bite, he will experience an unpleasant taste. The obnoxious taste would arrest nail biting in many a child.

3.Keep Nails Trimmed Short

Trim your child's fingernails at least twice a week to help prevent biting. Frequently offer to clip and file your child's nails so he won't need to chew them. Eliminating fingernail tips may deter a child from fingernail biting as there is no protruding nail to bite.

4.Keep Hands Busy

When your child usually bites his nails, try engaging him in other activities, particularly those that use his hands. These could be drawing, putting together puzzles, crocheting or building legos or even squeezing a stress ball or playing with small hand toys, worry beads, pipe cleaners, balls or smooth stones or "egg" of silly putty. You can also try engaging his mouth by talking, telling stories, singing or giving him sugarless gum to chew. When the hands are busy something doing something, they tend to stay away from the mouth.

5.Chew Gum

Find an alternate source of oral stimulation to get your oral fix without biting your nails. Chewing some hard gum or suck on mints or candies has helped a few children break the habit. Besides keeping the hands busy, some kids find that their fingers in their mouth and touching their lips are soothing. Chewing gum will not replicate the exact sensation of nail biting, but it will help keep the mouth and lips moving which can help to deter nail biting.

6.Hot or Bitter Nails

Slather a bad-tasting potion on the end of kids’ fingers will discourage nail biting. Drug stores carry topical solutions to help you break the nail-biting habit. These ill-tasting liquids are applied and left on the nail. When the kids bite their nails the foul taste acts as a deterrent.
Coating the nails with hot pepper, lemon juice, vinegar or any nontoxic or bitter tasting substance will help to stop kids from biting nails.  Some ointments contain cayenne pepper as the deterring flavor. Make your own remedy by simply rubbing cayenne pepper on or around the nails and nail beds. Exercise caution when using this remedy, as it can irritate open lesions or sensitive skin, and keep it away from the eyes. Or dip the nails in Bitter gourd (karela) juice, so that when the kids put their fingers in mouth, the bitter taste would make them stop chewing their nails. This is a great natural way for making kids stop the habit.

7.Bitter Polishes That Encourage Nail Growth

Also there are a number of good brands of nail care that have come up with their own concoction that effectively prevent nail biting; Using them can easily break your child ‘s habit! – For children who want to stop their nail-biting habit and also grow longer, healthy nails fast, there are polishes that combine a bitter taste with a growth formula. These polishes encourage the fast growth of fingernails and include brands like Develop 10 Bite Ender and Barielle No Bite Pro Growth. The quick growth of longer nails might reinforce the desire to stop nail biting. Other examples are Orly no bite nail polish and Bitrex is a chemical that is put in products to make them taste foul, obtained from your local pharmacy.

8.Cotton Gloves/ Self-adhesive Bandages

If you've tried these techniques and nothing is working, wear gloves or put self-adhesive bandages on the tips of your child‘s fingers so their nails won't be accessible to bite. These work as shields between your mouth and your fingers. These methods are best at home or in places where consistent glove- or bandage-wearing do not affect your daily obligations. Use gloves or bandages at predictable times, like when children watching TV or sitting in the car, you can put cotton gloves on their hands at those times. It's also safe to use an over-the-counter, non-toxic, bitter tasting nail coating. Apply it to their nails every morning and evening. For girls, the promise of manicures can often be a good incentive to avoid nail biting.

9.Try to Reduce Stress

Nail biting may be the result of boredom, anxiety or habit. In order to help your child, try to understand why he does it. All children experience anxiety now and again, but are there extra stresses on your child, such as too many extracurricular activities, a new school, a recent move, a divorce or the death of a pet? Carefully observe when your child bites his nails. Talk to your doctor or mental health professional if fingernail biting persists along with anxiety and stress. It could be a sign of a more serious psychological problem, including OCD, which can be treated with counseling, or medications.
If nail biting is due to stress and anxiety, taking vitamin B inositol may help lower stress levels. Vitamin B increases serotonin in the brain that helps reduce depression and seems to reduce the urge to pick or bite nails, according to Dr. Penzel of Westsuffolk Psychology.

10.Avoid Nag or Punish

Remember, it's very difficult for adults and children to stop bad habits. Your child will only stop if he/she wants to. Try to be supportive and avoid scolding and punishing your child for biting his/her nails, which could cause more stress and lead to more nail biting. Reacting negatively will only increase your child's stress levels and detach him/her in his/her struggle.

11.Talk about Breaking Habits

Teach your child about breaking habits. Let him know that even adults develop habits and that they are hard, but possible to break. Reassure him that he can stop biting his nails and you will be there to support him. Encourage good behavior through positive reinforcement. When you notice your child has been refraining from nail biting, praise her and let her know you're proud of her progress. Discuss the nail biting with your youngster. Tell her you would rather she not chew on her fingernails. Encourage her to stop instead of admonishing her.

12.Offer An Alternative

Consider cutting back on extra pastimes and encourage relaxing activities, such as playing with a pet or Give Silly Putty to play with on long car rides, for instance, or a smooth stone to hold while reading. Encourage your kid to develop hobbies or participate in sports to burn off tension and nervous energy. She/he may be seeking stimulation or a creative outlet to release anxieties, so direct his/her energy into a fun activity. Some kids find an arts and craft projects a good way to keep their hands busy and relax at the same time. For other kids, learning to play a musical instrument can be helpful. Have your child practice the alternative habit for a few minutes before school or at bedtime. In addition, identify some relaxation techniques to try when she/he feels the urge to bite – deep breathing, for example, or clenching and releasing his fists.

13.Problems with Regular Nail Biting

Nail biting is not a highly dangerous habit. It is mildly unsanitary. Biting and tearing off the nails can create a problem to your cuticles, which can be badly infected by microbes and bacteria. Stomach infections and irritation can result due to ingestion of bacteria present in the nail bed. Regularly biting your nails and cuticles can leave your fingers red and sore. The area of skin around your nails may bleed and become infected. It can also promote uneven nail growth. Nail biting can also harm your teeth, leading to poorly aligned, weakened teeth.  It also makes the nails and fingers scarred and less attractive. When children put their hands in their mouths after touching surfaces such as doorknobs, playing outdoors, handling animals and going to the bathroom, they can catch illnesses such as colds, diarrhea and pinworms.

Natural Fitness Tips
Natural Fitness Tips

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