Nose picking is one of the most common and annoying habits your child can develop. Your child might start picking his nose because it’s itchy, infected, irritated or just because he’s curious. But once he starts, you’ll need to nip the habit in the bud if you don’t want to deal with increased nasal infection and potential nosebleeds — both consequences of too-frequent picking.
Schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician to make sure your child doesn’t need treatment for allergies. Kids with allergies may pick because their noses are irritated and medication may help solve the problem.
Run a humidifier in your child’s room at night to help restore moisture to her nostrils, recommends Baby Center’s website. Picking can irritate and dry out your child’s nostrils, increasing the habit. A humidifier reduces dryness and discomfort.
Rub a little petroleum just inside your child’s nostrils a few times a day if his nose is red and irritated. Petroleum jelly smooths broken skin and soothes irritation, reducing his urge to stick his finger in his nose.
Pay attention to when your child picks his nose the most. Get into the habit of distracting him with activities that occupy his fingers, like finger puppets, crayons or a keyboard.
Show your child how to blow her nose with a tissue and let her know that’s a better option for dealing with a stuffy nose.
Schedule plenty of play time with other kids for your child. Peer pressure — like other kids saying, “gross!” — can be one of the most effective ways to get your child to stop picking, according to Baby Center.