Is your child a nose picker?
Kids tend to pick their nose for one of a few reasons.

  • Boredom: nose picking can just be something to do, or can be comforting like hair twirling or thumb sucking
  • Allergies: kids with allergies tend to have a build up of mucus and feel like there is something in there that needs to come out
  • Tiredness: for some littlies it is a tired sign, like rubbing their eyes or pulling on their ears
  • Stress: some kids use nose picking as a way to relieve stress

But if you’re tired of watching your toddler pick their nose (let alone if they are eating it – gag), read on for some ideas to break the habit.
See which one you think would be more appropriate for your little one’s age group and personality.


Each time you see your little one up to their elbows, pass them a tissue or hanky. This will act as a signal for them to stop.


When you see their little finger heading north, use a word or phrase to stop them in their tracks, then suggest an alternative.
For instance you could say ‘Jane, go and wash your hands and then let’s do a puzzle.’


You can try giving them something else to keep their hands busy, such as a stress ball or a small toy to hold onto when they are in a nose picking mood.


Some kids don’t respond well to nagging about bad habits, so try getting someone else to say it that they might listen to.
For instance you could ask your child’s teacher or doctor to mention to your child that nose picking can cause injury and nose bleeds.
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