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Children's Health

Is it a tic or a nervous habit?

07/13/2010

Question:

My daughter just turned 9. She has always been & still is a major picker of bumps and sores. So bad she is covered in scars. About 1 year ago she started clearing her throat all the time. That stopped now she makes this strange mouth movement all the time. Sometimes I think she is aware and sometimes not. Those around her notice. It seems to go from one strange thing to another and lasts for months. (She also still wets the bed almost every night.) She is a well mannered and healthy child. Could it be a medical issue or just an attention getter? What does this mean & what can I do to help?

Answer:

As your daughter is 9 years old and still bed wetting, it is reasonable to see a pediatric urologist and have her assessed for any possible physical component to this issue. Nine years old is getting into the upper age end of this being an average developmental issue vs. a true physical disorder.

As for the repetitive actions and skin picking, it may be wise to consult a pediatric neurologist to help ascertain if this is a neurologically based issue or a behavioral issue. If behavioral, counseling may be of benefit. Hopefully, your pediatric health care provider can assist in figuring out this situation

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Response by:

Sarah Sauntry, RN, MS, CPNP-PC
Assistant Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati