Biting is common amongst young children and it is one of the things that concerns parents/carers the most. Biting is a normal stage of development for young children who are teething and are still developing their language skills. It is usually a temporary condition that is most common between thirteen and twenty-four months of age.
We want to ensure that every child is safe while in our care. Our program provides an environment that encourages and promotes cooperative interaction, respect for others, and non-aggressive problem solving between the children.
Children bite for a variety of reasons: simple sensory exploration, panic, crowding, seeking to be noticed, or intense desire for a toy. Repeated biting becomes a pattern of learned behavior that is often hard to extinguish because it does achieve results: the desired toy, excitement, attention. Our staff supervise carefully for biting not to happen. There are times, however, when everyone cannot be within immediate reach to prevent a bite.
Our policy for handling a biting incident is the following:
- The biter is immediately removed from the group. The bitten child is consoled and the bitten area washed with soap and water. If necessary, ice is applied to reduce any swelling or bruising. The biter will be on a thinking chair inside the office and is talked to on a level that he/she can understand, then redirected.
- A written incident report is given to the parents of all children involved when they are picked up that day. The name of a biting child is not released because it serves no useful purpose and can make an already difficult situation more difficult.
- We make special efforts to protect potential victims.
We try to make every effort to extinguish the behavior quickly and to balance our commitment to the family of the biting child to that of other families.