NAIL BITING IN PRESCHOOL: A CASE REPORT


Mete M., Yetim A., Gokcay G., Alyanak B.

JOURNAL OF ISTANBUL FACULTY OF MEDICINE-ISTANBUL TIP FAKULTESI DERGISI, vol.79, no.1, pp.46-50, 2016 (ESCI) identifier

Abstract

Nail biting behavior is a common problem in childhood. Nail biting behavior which is associated with severe anxiety disorders may occur as a result of emotional and/or physical abuse. This behavior problem has negative effects on physical and psychological health of children. Tooth root damage, malocclusion, jaw disorders and parasitosis may develop in severe cases. There are controversial approaches for the treatment. The nail biting behavior of a 57-month-old boy was issued by his parent during the well-child visit. There was no pathological sign in the examination of the patient, who later was directed to the Child Development and Education specialist. His development was already evaluated as age-appropriate with various developmental screening tests during his previous controls. In the patient's detailed history, it was ascertained that the nail biting behavior has developed after the verbal and potential physical violence that had been applied by his mother one year ago. Knowing the fact that this behavior was an anxiety linked disorder, several meetings had been carried out separately with the mother, the child and his brother. While behavioral therapy was being applied to the patient, approach model of the mother and other family members were schematized in the interviews. After a four month-follow-up period, it was observed that the nail biting behavior has decreased and the behavior model of the family had been corrected. Nail biting behavior should be considered and evaluated carefully in terms of children's mental health. Regular behavioral therapies and cooperation with the family members are important in the management of these cases.