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Why Do Kids Eat Glue?

why do kids eat glue

Why do kids eat glue? Because they are relatively new to this world, kids are full of energy and boundless curiosity. Most kids, weirdly enough, even end up eating glue. Now, is this a phase that every kid goes through or should you be worried?

There are many reasons why kids would dare to eat glue, and most of the time, they would outgrow this behavior. However, if it does get problematic, you will need to intervene. Also, even though school glues are non-toxic, they still pose a bit of danger so you should not let them use those unsupervised.

Top Reasons Why Kids Eat Glue

Kids are weird little creatures. They have almost boundless amounts of energy and their curiosity has no limits. They can do all sorts of weird little things, including eating glue. Here are the reasons why:


avoid kid use glue

As mentioned multiple times before, children are curious little beings. They are seeing for the first time what most adults take for granted, making them quite excited. They want to try as many new things as possible; understandably, not all are correct.

These kids end up eating glue because they do not know yet that it is wrong for them to do so, and they usually stop this behavior relatively quickly after they understand why they should not do it.

To Seek Attention

Young kids love being the center of attention and they will do things that get them into trouble if it means the attention shifts to them. This usually happens when the child has a younger sibling, or if other kids are visiting their homes.

To Defy Their Parents/People of Authority

If you’ve had a child, then you know that they usually love doing the exact opposite of what you told them not to do. For young kids, this is the way they can act in defiance of authority figures in their lives. Rather than argue with adults, kids would eat glue and other prohibited things.

They Have Pica

Pica is an eating disorder that causes people, not just kids, to eat inedible things. A child who has Pica often experiences cravings to eat whatever they can reach, like hair, dirt, small plastic toys, and even their feces.

Many health experts agree that Pica may be a sign of an underlying condition, such as mental illness or excessive stress. If you notice your child is eating glue, among other inedible things, take them to the doctor right away.

What Happens When You Eat Glue?

what happens when you eat glue

It is very unlikely that your child will get poisoned when they eat the kind of glue used in school. Glues intended for use by children are typically non-toxic.

However, if the child eats an ungodly amount of glue, it might turn into a problem. PVA (Polyvinyl Acetate) glue, which is the type used primarily in schools, can cause blockages in the GI tract, causing stomach pain and diarrhea. If the glue-eating behavior is left unchecked, the child may even develop intestinal infections.

Superglue, on the other hand, while still non-toxic (at least most brands are), may cause adverse skin reactions, especially in the windpipe. So, if your child accidentally consumes superglue, take them immediately to the ER.

How to Stop Your Kid from Eating Glue?

how to stop your kid from eating glue

If you find that your child is eating glue, unless they have Pica, you can do a couple of things to stop the behavior.

Avoid letting them use glue unsupervised

Whenever your child is doing arts and crafts with glue, make sure you are there to watch over them. This way, you can stop them even before they put the glue near their mouths, and calmly explain why eating it is bad.

Keep glue out of reach of children

To prevent your kids from eating glue without you knowing, make sure they do not have access to it. Store your glues and other adhesives somewhere that your kids cannot reach. Only take the glue out if you are there to monitor their use.

Teach your kids crafts that do not involve glue

Many arts and crafts projects do not require the use of glue, like origami or just plain cutting out shapes from paper (using safety scissors of course). Kids might find using glue fun, but there are lots of alternatives out there that they can try.

Your child will eventually outgrow their curiosity of putting things in their mouths that do not belong there. However, until that time comes, these tips might help keep them out of trouble.


There are many reasons why children eat glue but probably the chief of these is that they are still unaware why it is harmful. It could also be that they are extremely curious. Regardless of the reasons why do kids eat glue, do not leave them unsupervised when using it. It may not be toxic but can still cause serious health issues, so be cautious.

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