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Noticed licking thumb. Difficult in handling. Remedy?

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Pediatrician, Pulmonology
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 1710 Questions
Hi my Son 3.4 year son is very NAUGHTY, especially I am worried about few habits he possess.. he always licks his thumb(left hand) -- in a day minimum 5-8 hrs.. he cant sleep by himself without licking the finger., while licking he used to "Rub" our skin like our hands, or ears or stomach or pinches our hand ... I am really worried , I just cant remove his thumb from mouth he becomes wild if we do that.. I really dunno how to handle/tackle him. can you please help :(
Posted Sun, 9 Jun 2013 in ADHD
Answered by Dr. Arun 53 minutes later

Thanks for writing to XXXXXXX

You can try applying femite oinment on his thumb twice daily until the habit goes away.

More important : divert his attention to some hand based activities like building blocks , etc .
Kids suck thumb when they feel insecure. Make sure someone is there all the time.
Ensure frequent feedings to avoid him getting too hungry.
Do not use electronics like tv/ etc.
Engage him in some kind of physical activity
And do not punish him for sucking. Rather reward him for not sucking.
Kids need positive reinforcements more .
You cant get rid of this habit suddenly. Go slow, hope your kid will stop sucking soon.

Hope this would solve the issue. Please let me know if I can help you further.

Dr Arun
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