Are thumb-sucking and nail-biting bad for kids?


Investigators examine whether thumb-sucking and nail-biting are all that bad.

Thumb-sucking and nail-biting may not be all bad. Children who suck their thumbs or bite their nails between ages 5 and 11 years are less likely than youngsters without these habits to have atopic sensitization at age 13 years and beyond, a study in more than 1000 New Zealanders found. Investigators noted that since thumb-sucking and nail-biting probably increase microbial exposure, these findings offer additional support for the hygiene hypothesis (Lynch SJ, et al. Pediatrics. 2016;138[2]:e20160443).  

Next: Algorithm accurately identifies babies at low risk of IBI

Ms Freedman is a freelance medical editor and writer in New Jersey. She has nothing to disclose in regard to affiliations with or financial interests in any organizations that may have an interest in any part of this article.

Recent Videos
cUTI Roundtable: Discussing and diagnosing these difficult infections
Willough Jenkins, MD
Discussing health care sustainability, climate change, and WHO's One Health goal | Image credit: Provided by Shreya Doshi
Willough Jenkins, MD
Screening for and treating the metatarsus adductus foot deformity |  Image Credit: UNFO md ltd
Wendy Ripple, MD
Wendy Ripple, MD
Courtney Nelson, MD
DB-OTO improved hearing to normal in child with profound genetic deafness | Image Credit: © Marija - © Marija -
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.