Biting is a common behaviour that some young children go through. This is part of some children’s development and can be triggered when they do not yet have the words to communicate their anger, frustration or need. At Little Ozzies we follow our positive behaviour policy to promote positive behaviour at all times.
Strategies to prevent biting include; sensory activities, biting rings, adequate resources and a stimulating exciting environment. However in the event of a child being bitten the following procedure will be followed:
The child who has been bitten will be comforted and checked for any visual injury. First aid will be administrated where necessary. An accident form will be completed and the parents may be informed via telephone if deemed appropriate. The bitten area will be continued to be observed for signs of infection.
For confidentiality purposes and possible conflict the name of the child who has bitten will not be disclosed to the parents.
The child who has caused the bite will be told in terms that they understand that biting (the behaviour and not the child) is unkind, and be shown that it makes staff and the child who has been bitten sad. The child will be asked to say sorry if developmentally appropriate or show they are sorry, e.g. through hugging. An incident form will be completed and shared with the parents at the end of the child’s session.
If a child continues to bite, observations will be carried out to try to distinguish a cause, e.g. tiredness or frustration. Meetings will be held with the child’s parents to develop strategies to prevent the biting behaviour. Parents will be reassured that it is part of a child’s development and not made to feel that it is their fault.
In the event of a bite breaking the skin and to reduce the risk of infection from bacteria, prompt treatment may be needed for both the ‘biter’ and the ‘bitten’.
If a child or member of staff sustains a bite wound where the skin has been severely broken they may require urgent medical attention after initial first aid has been carried out.
Where a child may repeatedly bite and/or if they have a particular special educational need or disability that lends itself to increased biting, e.g. in some cases of autism where a child doesn’t have the communication skills, the setting will carry out a risk assessment and may recommend immunisation with hepatitis B vaccine for all staff and children.