It’s something that many of us have done, even if it’s inglorious to admit it: eat our boogers! Is there any risk for a young child to do this? The answers of Dr Amine Harichane, pediatric ENT doctor.
Most parents know this: they have already told their child hundreds of times not to stick their finger in their nose, without much success. And beyond the simple act of “picking” their noses, they also often reprimand their children about “eating boogers”.
What are boogers made of?
After this unappetizing introduction, let’s get to the point. What are boogers made of? “It’s actually mucus, a kind of film that lines the walls of the nasal mucosa.” first explains Dr Amine Harichane, pediatric ENT doctor. “This mucus can take different forms, it can be stringy or more crusty.”
In addition to taking on different aspects, this mucus serves to trap pathogenic elements in the air. “Mucus creates a protective barrier for our body, preventing viruses, bacteria, dust, pathogens, etc. from being in direct contact with our body“.
Eating your boogers is safe
By fulfilling their role as a filter, boogers accumulate “white blood cells and bacteria” according to our specialist. Is there a risk for children who enjoy it regularly? “No” immediately reassures the doctor. “Ingested boogers and the elements they contain will be destroyed by the gastric juice contained in the stomach.. No risk for the health of children therefore.
“On the other hand, socially speaking, it is better to teach them to get rid of this habit” advises the doctor. “Especially since putting your finger in your nose can cause nail sores, and cause scabs, which will be torn off and cause small bleeding“.
How to clean your children’s noses?
To avoid letting a child have the opportunity to pick his nose, the best solution is to clean it regularly. “From the age of two or three, a child knows how to blow his or her nose, so it must be done regularly and complete the cleaning with water if necessary. Physiological serum pods can help parents moisten and clean the noses of little ones” advises the doctor. In any case, remember to do it regularly, so that your child gradually abandons the idea of exploring his nostrils.