Aa
A
A
Close
Avatar_universal
7 year old licking hands/fingers
My seven year old has been licking his hands/ fingers for several weeks.  It appears to be very compulsive with a lack of awareness on his part.  He has had several bouts of compulsive behavior in the past (frequent urinating, washing hands, smelling hands) that have all been directly related to a change in his life and eventually subsided when life settled down.  This one (licking) seems to be lasting longer and becoming more frequent.  It is interesting that he does not show any other anxious symptoms at this time.  He loves school, appears confident and comfortable, is athletic and social.  He can not identify anything he is concerned about and says that he tries not to do it, but can not control the urge.  HELP?
Cancel
5 Answers
Page 1 of 1
Avatar_universal
Sounds like anxiety to me.  Anxiety is not the same as being anxious.  Anxiety is a response to a perceived threat or danger - an abnormal state characterized by a feeling of being powerless and unable to cope with threatening events, (usually imaginary), and by a physical response, as sweating, trembling, etc. (or licking in your son's case).  Many suffering from anxiety are not aware of their perceived threats and many are unable to control their urges without help.  Have you considered OCD - obsessive compulsive disorder which is one of the anxiety issues.  I might suggest you google this term and see if the description is similar to that of your son.  Do you have a pediatrician who might be able to guide you?  Anxiety disorders are highly treatable but, if this is the case with your son, he will not outgrow it nor will it go away.  Hope this helps ....
Comment
Cancel
Avatar_universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar_universal
I have a son who periodically does things like this.  He is 9 now, but I first noticed it in Kindergarten when he started clearing his throat all the time.  My husband and I thought he was getting a cold, but he contined to do it.  We would give him something to drink thinking that would help, but we figured out this had to be a nervous habit - for whatever reason.  We did tell him it was very noticeable, and explained if he kept doing it would become a habit he wouldn't be able to stop.  He did eventually stop, and some time later he began smelling his fingers.  This was also very obvious, and my husband and I asked him why he was doing this - he said he wanted to make sure his fingers didn't smell bad.  We decided to gently remind him to not do it each time we saw him do it, and eventually he stopped.  Then in 2nd grade he began periodically scratching his head - at first I thought he just had an itchy scalp and had him wash with dandruff shampoo, but he kept doing it.  Most of the time it was when he was doing his guided reading homework.  I would thoroughly check his head to make sure it wasn't lice but I could find nothing.   He did eventually stop that, with my gentle prompting.  But I think some children do these kind of things when they're nervous about something.  Just look at how many kids bite their nails, and if you visit a 3rd grade classroom you'll see many children who have bite marks all over their pencils.  My son doesn't bite his pencil or his nails, he just has other habits that show up occasionally.  I wouldn't worry - sometimes I think we overanalyze things, and by doing this we might give our kids some kind of complex.  Good luck.  What we've done has seemed to work well for us.
Comment
Cancel
Avatar_universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar_universal
My son does the exact same thing as well as suck the collar of his shirt leaving wet marks where everyone can see and my son is 12yrs old. This seems compulsive as we keep telling him to stop but it seems he cant. This is very embarassing, not only for us as parents but other kids notice him doing it also. Need help and not sure what to do.
Comment
Cancel
Avatar_universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar_universal
My son is 7 and also has gone through many phases of odd behavior.  First was licking his hand and sucking his shirt.  Then he was having arm twitches and it looked like he was throwing air punches.  He eventually stopped that and started making throat clearing noises.  From there, he started licking everything in sight, and now he has to touch the ground with both hands every couple minutes.  It's very hard to ignore the behavior but it seems to go away after a few weeks and then a new behavior starts.  Does this sound familiar to anyone else?
Comment
Cancel
Avatar_universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Avatar_universal
Did you get this resolved and how? My 7 yr old daughter does the same. Started whom hand last year. Now its just.the tips. Winter wasn't an issue now its coming back. She won't open palms at times cause worried she will lick. Thoughts?
Comment
Cancel
Avatar_universal
Comment
Comment
Submit Comment
Your Answer
Avatar_universal
Answer
Know how to answer? Tap here to leave your answer...
Answer
7 year old licking hands/fingers
Submit Answer
A
A
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Child Behavior Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
Marathon Running Done Over Many Yea...
May 21 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Article on Multifocal IOL vs &q...
May 21 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank
748543_tn?1443740527
Blank
TMJ/TMJ The Connection Between Teet...
01/15 by Hamidreza Nassery , DMD, FICOI, FAGD, FICCMOBlank
Top Children's Health Answerers
134578_tn?1446090952
Blank
13167_tn?1327197724
Blank
Austin, TX
973741_tn?1342346373
Blank
189897_tn?1441130118
Blank
San Pedro, CA
3149845_tn?1452625053
Blank
fort lauderdale, FL