Biting is a common behaviour among children and can cause a great deal of distress and worry for parents and staff. Biting can often be painful and frightening for the child who has been bitten and frightening for the child who bites. Biting happens for different reasons with different children and under different circumstances. This is part of some children’s development and can be triggered when they do not yet have words to communicate their anger, frustration or need. At Laleham Church Playgroup we follow our behaviour policy to promote positive behaviour at all times.
We aim to act quickly and efficiently when dealing with any case of biting.
We will treat each incident with care and patience, offering comfort, helping children to manage their feelings, resolve issues and promote understanding.
We will work in partnership with parents/carers to develop successful behaviour management strategies.
In the event of a biting incident
For the bitten child or adult:
1. The child who has been bitten will be the priority and should be comforted and given reassurance.
2. Once the child is calm staff check for any visual injury. If there is a bite mark, staff should put on protective gloves and clean the wound immediately by running warm tap water over it for a couple of minutes (if this is not possible wash the area with warm water and wipe with an antiseptic wipe). It’s a good idea to do this even if the skin doesn't appear to be broken. Staff will explain to the child what is happening and support the child as this process may be painful.
3. If the skin is broken:-
4. If the bite has severed a body part like a finger or ear:-
5. If the skin is not broken (we do not want to worry parents/carers unnecessarily):-
6. The member of staff who witnessed the incident, or who dealt with it must complete a “Significant Accident/ incident Record” form for each child involved and put the forms’ details on the “Significant Accident/incident Log”. The form should be signed by the child’s parent/carer when the child is collected that day.
7. If a member of staff is bitten the same first aid procedures will be followed and if the skin has been broken, the member of staff will be asked to contact their doctor for advice straight away. A “Significant Accident/ incident Record” form must be completed by/for the staff member and the forms’ details put on the “Significant Accident/incident Log”.
8. The Playgroup manager must be informed of all biting instances.
For the biter:
1. Wherever possible the child who has bitten should have their behaviour managed by their keyperson or keyperson buddy and the consequence of biting should be explained in a way that is appropriate to the child’s age and stage of development.
2. The parent/carers of the child who has bitten another person should be informed of the incident preferably by phone by a senior member of staff or at collection time. This must be handled in a sensitive and confidential way and not discussed openly infront of other parents/carers or children.
3. Parents/carers may ask the name of the child who has bitten or been bit, staff must explain that they cannot disclose this information as confidentiality must be maintained.
4. Where a child repeatedly bites and/or has 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 playgroup will carry out a risk assessment.
The policy was adopted by Laleham Church Playgroup at a meeting on....17th April 2018
Signed on behalf of Laleham Church Playgroup...........................................
Further advice can be found at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/animal-and-human-bites/
Information sheet on Biting
1. Key messages:-
2. Potential triggers for biting:-
All these triggers should be considered – it could be one of these factors or a combination of them.
3. Potential strategies to support the management of biting incidents: