A 5-year-old boy from Chester in the UK has a peculiar appetite, so peculiar that he eats mud, paint, cleaning products, and even wallpaper due to a rare eating disorder called “pica.”
Eoin Collins is much like any other toddler: healthy, happy, and full of life. Except when it comes to his eating habits, which are a constant source of worry for his parents and teachers.
Having been diagnosed with pica when he was two, Eoin eats everything from sand to toys and needs constant observation lest he consumes something dangerous.
So addicted to eating moss and mud is Eoin that he can’t even go outside and play, and sits inside most of the time watching TV.
His favorite nibbles are moss, of which some species are surprisingly edible, and mud.
Childminder and single mom-of-three, Ceri Morris, told reporters, “You can’t turn your back on him for a second without him sticking his hand in the sand or mud. If I leave cleaning products out for a second then he will eat them or try to drink them and he’s always picking paint off the walls. And I had to give a plant that a friend gave to me as a present to my mum Ceri because he was always at the soil. He will eat literally anything.”
She added that all potentially dangerous products, such as detergents and bleaches, need to be kept on the top shelf, while Eoin munches his way through sponges and even toilet paper.
As Ceri added, “I just thought that it was a phase and that he would grow out of it when I first saw him eat sand. The real danger is that he will eat something that will make him sick but thankfully that has not happened yet and he’s not gained weight. But Eoin has limited speech so he can’t tell me why he does it at all and it’s really stressful.”