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Photo: Treetree2016 (Shutterstock) If your child is a frequent nail-biter, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that something may be amiss emotionally, or they’re the only kid with this annoying habit. But neither is (necessarily) true. According to Nemours KidsHealth , “An estimated 30% to 60% of kids and teens chew on one or more fingernails. And, occasionally, a child may also bite his or her toenails.” Well, at least they’re not doing that . Still, it’s not a habit you want them to continue into adulthood. Why do children bite their nails? Nail biting and picking is one of the most common “nervous habits,” a category that includes nose-picking, hair twisting and thumb-sucking . (Technically, nail biting is referred to as a BRFB or, “body-focused repetitive behavior.”) And—much to my relief, having a child who bites their nails on the soccer field—it’s not usually a sign of a deeper issue. Most often, it’s an involuntary response to being curious, bored, or mildly anxious. (That said, according to HealthDay , “if his fingertips are ragged and bloody, or if in addition to biting his nails, he picks his skin, tugs on his eyelashes, or is not sleeping well,” you should reach out to a counselor or doctor.) Are there any negative effects to nail-biting? Besides the obviously annoying sight and sound of someone gnawing on their hand skin like a squirrel that just got out of jail, there are some potential undesirable health effects. As the Mayo Clinic […]