quality posts: 16 Private Messages WootBot


When I picked up my son from daycare yesterday, I was informed that he had been bitten by another child. He had a very faint mark on his arm, and the skin wasn't broken. This morning, you can't even see the mark.

I didn't think it was that big a deal. Kids are kids. They do stuff like this, right? But then I was asked to sign a waiver that said I had been made aware of the details of the "incident" and that I was releasing the teachers and the daycare from any liability.

Perhaps also relevant to note is that they wouldn't tell me which child had done the biting. Granted, I didn't ask. But when we were discussing it, it was very obvious that the name of the biter was being left out intentionally. It made me wonder if the name of the bitee (my son) was left out of the story when the biter's family was informed. I'm assuming they were informed, anyway.

So I guess my question is, is this really that big of a deal? Biting seems like something that would be relatively common at this age (infants under 1 year old, all cutting teeth). Not that it is acceptable for a child to go around biting other children. You correct the behavior and move on. But it's "normal" right? Or is it not?

I hate the idea of picking up my child one day and finding out that he was the biter. But I suppose it could happen.

Has it happened to your child? Has he/she been bitten? Has he/she bitten another child? How do you handle the situation to ensure it doesn't happen again? 


Photo by Flickr member Upsilon Andromedae, used under a Creative Commons License.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages babycuddlebear

It's completely normal. When I was 2ish my face was mangled pretty impressively by a little guy about the same age. No scars, but it took a while to heal. My kid hasn't bitten anyone yet, but a couple of her friends have bitten her and others. They are all between 1 and 2 1/2. I'm running on the assumption that one of these days the shoe will be on the other foot and I'll be the mom who is mortified by her kid's bad manners.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages alistarz

As an early childhood educator I can tell you that biting at that age is a normal although undesired behavior. I think the best way to hopefully avoid having your child bite another during the age in which they are cutting teeth is to make sure that they have safe things to chew on.

If you had an older child (2 1/2+) the biting behavior would be more serious and becomes progressively less normal as the child gets older. It's important with children in this age group to make it clear that biting is not ok and that biting hurts. If it's a repeated behavior the daycare may have to isolate the child after the incident and call the parents to pick the child up (I have had to do this before... not my favorite thing to do as a teacher).

Your school is right not to give the name of the biter. This policy is consistent with most state laws. When your child becomes verbal though you'll just be able to ask them who did it. Also it is typically state law that any injury that leaves a mark get reported to the parents and the parents sign that they were informed. We live in such a litigious society that this is necessary to protect schools/teachers. Kids hurt each other sometimes no matter how good the care or supervision.


quality posts: 11 Private Messages cengland0
alistarz wrote:
Your school is right not to give the name of the biter. This policy is consistent with most state laws. When your child becomes verbal though you'll just be able to ask them who did it. Also it is typically state law that any injury that leaves a mark get reported to the parents and the parents sign that they were informed. We live in such a litigious society that this is necessary to protect schools/teachers. Kids hurt each other sometimes no matter how good the care or supervision.

Signing that they were informed is one thing but to include a statement that removes any liability of the day care service, that's another thing. Perhaps if they had it in the initial contract that they are not liable for the actions of other children then they should still be covered, right? Then, if you saw that in the contract, you have the right to refuse their services and go elsewhere if you wanted (assuming you can find another service that doesn't have the same verbiage in their contracts).

Also, not mentioning the name of the biter could be a problem, right? What if he/she had HIV or some other disease that could be transmitted. Wouldn't you like to know that as the parent of the bitee?


quality posts: 0 Private Messages lezzlesb

totally normal, my 19 month old has been bitten and bitten.


quality posts: 4 Private Messages mndvs737

Our daughter has been both the biter and the bitten. I talked to our daycare owner after we'd had a few days in a row where she'd bitten other kids, because I was afraid she was about to get kicked out (she's only 14 months, and this was a few months ago). The owner said it's a common behavior at that age, especially when they get mad (another child took their toy, etc.), because they don't have a strong vocabulary - biting is their main response. It made us feel a bit better, and with consistent messages at home and day care about "No no - no bite!" when she tries, we're seeing the behavior taper way off.


quality posts: 2 Private Messages Cat31302

When my son was in daycare, it was their policy not to tell the parents the name of the child who bit. My son was bitten several times though. The biting seemed to taper off by the time he was about 2. I never got a note that he bit another child, but I wouldn't put it past him. Worry if you find a bite and they didn't tell you about it. Kids cry when they get bit, the daycare people should notice and pay attention to a crying child.


quality posts: 1 Private Messages onecraftymonkey

Biting is totally normal at that age. Generally, they bite at school because they do not have the verbal skills to express their feelings. Some kids choose to hit instead of bite.

My son was the bitee (victim) for several months in his toddler class at pre-school. A classmate would just walk by and bite him for no reason. The child even bit my son when he was sitting in the teacher's lap one time. The biting got worse until most kids in the class were being bitten. The teachers, director and parent met several times to problem solve the issue. They tried keeping a teething ring on a necklace, keeping a teether lovie with the child at all times and finally, adding an adult aide to the classroom specifically attend to that child. Unfortunately, the problem continued and the child did have to be removed from class for about 3 months until they outgrew the biting.

While biting usually just bruises, biting can be serious. If the bite breaks the skin, you need to see your child's doctor. There is a great deal of bacteria in your mouth and it is possible to transfer bacterial infections and other diseases through a bite. The doctor will assess the bite and can prescribe antibotics if needed. This is straight from my doctor because the child bit my son and broke the skin once.

The school was right not to release information about the other child. This is standard practice and will continue as your child enters public or private school. The reason they do not give that information is to protect both children. The biter's parents were not giving your child's information either. While I'm sure you are a nice normal person, there are crazy people out there who might retaliate or harass you or your child. So it is for the safety of the children not to release names.
Also, I'm not sure why you had to sign a waiver. Typically you just receive an incident report. Actually you should ALWAYS receive an incident report when it happens, just like when your child gets a bump or bruise. It should tell you what happened and what first aid, if any was given. This can be important information for your doctor and plus, you just want to know when things happen, even if your kid is fine, it shows the care givers are paying attention.

Good news is that once the child gains verbal skills, the biting will stop and the screaming tantrums will begin *wink*. If the biting doesn't stop at that point, it might be necessary to remove the child from other kids for a while and see your child's doctor for some assistance. It can be very discouraging for parents because it is not like you told your kid to bite other kids at school, right?. . . Right? Kidding, but as they say, this too shall pass.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages muse7mom

My daughter was bitten in preschool and we were told the name of the biter. Because I knew the child has frequent medical checkups I wasn't concerned about hepatitis or anything else communicable.
We happened to take my girl to the doctor a couple of days later for a regular visit and when they saw the mark and asked what had happened they did ask if we wanted tests for hepatitis and/or HIV. Holy cow, that scared me!
I know biting is normal and I can see a school asking parents to sign waivers but I also am very glad I knew the girl and her medical history. It's a really small preschool and all the parents knew each other.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages robertleemartin512

I really want to stress the point that if the skin breaks, take him to the Dr. immediately! I saw a few human bites at the hospital I worked at and they can develop some serious infections. The human mouth is teeming with bacteria and bites can turn serious. I know that they usually wont and that many parents have gone through this with their child, but I wouldn't take the risk. So if it happens in the future and the skin does break, please dont take the chance.


quality posts: 0 Private Messages kmvdvm

so glad to see this msg thread because we've been dealing with this as well - shamefully, my kid's been the biter not the bitee he's not quite 1 1/2 and i'll echo everyone else who's posted here that the daycare notifies me by way of an incident report, detailing why (he bit) and what was done (kids were separated, mine was given a teether and told "we don't bite our friends!") they've reassured me that this is normal for his age (i was mortified that he was the aggressor, they were very reassuring that he's not going to grow up to be a cannibal or anything ;-) )