A teenager has been rushed to the emergency room after suffering from lead poisoning, eating pens and pencils. This isn't the first time the teenager has been hospitalized from eating weird objects.
Hospitalized From Eating Odd Objects
Jade Noakes, a 14-year-old from New York, has been hospitalized throughout most of her life from eating odd objects, such as paper towels, erasers, and sand.
These rare cravings are symptoms of an eating disorder called Pica, which is known to cause people to eat objects that don't provide any nutritional value, like hair, cloth, chalk, powder, metal, or talcum powder.
Children with Pica may also suffer from other serious health problems, such as iron-deficiency. This is due to eating foods that don't provide enough nutritional value. In addition to Pica, Noakes was also born with autism.
Between the two health conditions, it's been challenging for Mrs. Noakes to prevent Jade from eating certain objects. She does what she can to protect her daughter from eating items but she can't always be there.
Anyone who is a parent can understand the struggles of how difficult it can be to keep an eye on their child 24/7. Mrs. Noakes is worried her daughter will put something in her mouth and accidentally choke.
However, she'd like to change that by hiring a service dog that can keep an extra eye on her daughter and help prevent her from eating even more hazardous objects. The Noakes family spent some time with a service dog who seemed to take action when Jade was closing in on eating an item she shouldn't. For example, the service dog would distract her by putting his paw on her arm or hand.
The family is looking to raise $17,000 which goes towards getting a service dog. Mrs. Noakes said her daughter started craving weird objects when she was four years old. At first, her daughter would eat things like sand but then began to lick the bottom of her shoes.
However, over the past few years, Jade has been digesting even more dangerous objects, constantly fearing for her daughter's life. Jade has also suffered from alcohol poisoning from eating cotton balls soaked in nail polis remover, in addition to drinking hand sanitizer.
Pica eating disorder occurs with other mental health conditions, including autism, schizophrenia, and intellectual disability.
Mrs. Noakes said her daughter has level three autism which is how she got Pica. Current research shows at least 4 percent to 26 percent of individuals who have been institutionalized suffer from Pica, according to the National Eating Disorder.