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OCD or normal toddler quirck?

my 2 yr old has recently bceom OBSSED with having to hands wiped off when they get the littlest bit of food or mess on them.. when he sees a sink he cries if he cant wash his hands.. was wondering if anyone elses tot has done this or something similar... could it be a sgin of ocd.. or am i just worrying? thanks


Asked by JrsMommy07 at 8:20 AM on Feb. 4, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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This question is closed.
Answers (11)
  • all kids (especially toddlers!!!) get obsessive about stuff. don't attempt to diagnose them with anything until they're much much older, it'll just enable more obsession. i worked at a preschool for a looooong time and there was only ONE kid i ever thought would grow up with the diagnosis of OCD. and he was VERY VERY VERY extreme, but it had nothing to do with cleanliness, it was all about his schedule.

    Answer by juliness at 10:01 AM on Feb. 4, 2009

  • My niece was the same way, she would stay in the bathroom washing her hands for 10 min. She still washes her hands a lot, but not quite as much. She is 3 now.

    Answer by Kathy-PSPR at 8:23 AM on Feb. 4, 2009

  • To my knowledge, there is no toddler OCD, but I was pretty sure our FS had it because he is obsessed with having things in their place. I think the reality is that they are more aware of how the world works and want to find their place in it.. They mimic us and are practicing or repeating the things they see us doing. Not that I am OCD about everything in it's place, just something he picked up. Don't make a big deal of it, or he might. :)

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 8:25 AM on Feb. 4, 2009

  • Hes too young to be diagnosed with OCD but maybe he was told to wash his hands because of germs. Kids can get worried easily about those things and then HAVE to do it or they dont feel safe from germs. I think its normal. My 4 yr old is obsessed with washing her hands and cleaning.

    Answer by gemgem at 8:41 AM on Feb. 4, 2009

  • Some kids have a "thing" where they don't like stuff on their hands. It's no biggie, and even if they don't outgrow it, it's not uncommon nor is it a mental health issue. It's preference. Also, the extended periods of or need to wash hands is repetition at this stage. It's fun for them, and not a problem to for you to go along with it. At least he's a clean boy! :)

    Answer by mymadisonfamily at 9:06 AM on Feb. 4, 2009

  • My three year old granddaughter wants to run through the same activities everytime she visits. She has a list in her head of what she does- swing on the swing, slide down the slide, hug the big stuffed dog toy, hammer the hammer toy, eat a dish of yogurt, use her own special fork and spoon, and so forth. She is disappointed if it isn't possible to do something on her list. All I can guess is that she is looking for stability in a place that she doesn't visit very often, and she wants to feel at home and comfortable by feeling that she can recognize what is here. As far as the child who likes to wash hands, possibly the little one enjoys the soap and water, or the child may have been scolded for having dirty hands.

    Answer by Bmat at 9:08 AM on Feb. 4, 2009

  • my son was like that when he went to another preshool i think htey would scare / shame them about the germs/ dirt.. now he (at age 3...) really needs to have them washed if they get STICKY but not like dirty, like whenhe gets marker or something else on them, i am like that with stickiness too... so mine grew outta the stage with no firther ocd traits.... just wait and see.

    Answer by AmaliaD at 9:11 AM on Feb. 4, 2009

  • All the advertising about germs and bugs could be part of it. He may just like the feel of water on his hands. A child washing his hands constantly or for long periods of time usually means that they are playing in the water, not OCD.

    Answer by motherofhope98 at 9:12 AM on Feb. 4, 2009

  • my oldest son was like that always wanting his hads washed he would swear there was dirt there even though i couldnt see it i think he mostly did it just because he wanted to feel the water on his hands hes going on 5 now and still loves the water (always bugging me to take a bath) but not for the cleanliness- its because he wants to have fun splashing and playing with wutever new water toys he has- i wouldnt worry hell probably out grow it!

    Answer by lovelyli217 at 9:56 AM on Feb. 4, 2009

  • I would have him evaluated by a Occupational Therapist. Just to see if he has any sensory issues. If it is, it is important to get therapy early so they can adjust to normal life. Most likely it isn't anything. My oldest and my youngest did't care if they got anything on their hands. But my middle son hated it much like yours. He has SID (sensory integration dysfunction.)

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:40 AM on Feb. 4, 2009