A toddler may be attracted to ice because it is cold and may soothe gum pain during teething. They may also be sensory seeking. Seems harmless enough, but there are other risks and implications relative to excessive ice chewing. In addition to causing damage to tooth enamel and gums and presenting a choking hazard, your child may have Pica. “Pica is an eating disorder in which people eat non-food or non-nutritive items, including ice, toys, dirt, and hair,” said Fadiyla Dopwell, M.D., developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Developmental Pediatrix® in Dallas, Texas. “Pica can be associated with iron deficiency anemia. Since it is difficult to tell if a toddler is mouthing objects for sensory benefits or because of Pica, it is always beneficial to update your pediatrician with your observations. Your pediatrician can determine if further workup is needed.” 

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