May 31, 2019


Announcer: The Health Minute, produced by University of Utah Health.

Interviewer: Three bad habits you should stop your child from doing. Dr. Cindy Gellner, what are they?

Dr. Gellner: Kids have many habits that can be downright annoying and gross. The top three are nail biting, nose picking, and thumb sucking.

Nail biting can lead to skin infections and abnormal nail growth. Nose picking can lead to nose bleeds and introduce cold viruses directly to where they'll end up having symptoms. And thumb sucking can cause dental issues.

Interviewer: And how long will I have to keep nagging my kids not to do these three things?

Dr. Gellner: Although these habits are bothersome or may even make you worry, just relax. In most cases, these habits are just a phase in the normal developmental process and are not cause for alarm. These behaviors often disappear by the time a child reaches school age, and peer pressure gets them to stop.

Announcer: To find out more about this and other health and wellness topics, visit

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