Is Dirt Safe?
According to Dr. David L. Fay, it is not safe for children to eat dirt. While the dirt in and of itself may not be harmful, dirt contains a high amount of dangerous bacteria and could potentially include the eggs of parasites that could cause illness.
Level of Danger
Most of the dangers from dirt eating are most apparent when it is consumed in large amounts at regular intervals. Though parents should prevent their children from eating dirt and seek medical attention quickly if a baby becomes ill after eating dirt, it is not an emergency if a child eats a small amount by accident and does not become ill.
A few groups claim that eating dirt (or geophagy) can have health benefits, and a few studies have suggested that geophagy helps the immune system by giving it a small threat to stimulate an immune response. However, this idea is controversial within the medical community.