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That “B” Word—Biting Handling behavioral issues in child care settings

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That “B” Word—Biting Handling behavioral issues in child care settings. Updated 11/6/06. Objectives The participant will be able to:. explore the relationship between child development, aggressive behavior and biting list the types of “biters”

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slide1
That “B” Word—Biting

Handling behavioral issues in child care settings

Updated 11/6/06

objectives the participant will be able to
ObjectivesThe participant will be able to:
  • explore the relationship between child development, aggressive behavior and biting
  • list the types of “biters”
  • identify strategies used with each type of biter
  • develop an action plan
  • identify strategies to effectively communicate with parents
introduction
Introduction
  • Biting is not “abnormal” but can be upsetting for teachers and parents.
  • When children age 3 and older bite, it may be reflective of some other type of behavioral problem.
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Did you know…

1 out of every 10 toddler and two year olds bite!

principles of child growth and development
Principles of Child Growth and Development
  • Children explore their world by putting everything into their mouth.
  • Young children learn best by using all five senses.
  • Developmental theorists suggest that biting may be a form of exploration.
principles of child growth and development con t
Principles of Child Growth and Development (con’t)
  • May be a primitive form of communication
  • Very young children have not yet developed the concept of “sharing”
behavior issues aggression anger hitting and biting
Behavior issues…Aggression, Anger, Hitting and Biting
  • Toddlers are trying to figure out “who” they are. Aggressive behavior may be just a stage.
  • From about ages 3-5 there should be a drop in aggressive behavior.
strategies for handling aggressive behaviors
Strategies for Handling Aggressive Behaviors
  • Help children understand and express feelings
  • Encourage language and communication
  • Provide toys that are cause and effect
  • Use redirection
  • Be proactive! Have information in your parent handbook about the developmental aspects of aggressive behaviors and biting.
types of biters
Types of Biters
  • Experimental Biter
  • Frustrated Biter
  • Threatened Biter
  • The Power Biter
experimental biter
Experimental Biter
  • May simply want to touch, smell, taste other people in order to learn more about their world
  • Muscles are developing

Strategies:

    • Offer a variety of surfaces to play on and a colorful selection of toys to stimulate children during this stage of exploration.
    • May be motivated by teething pain. Offer appropriate things to chew on for relief-frozen bagels, teething biscuits, safe teething ring.
frustrated biter
Frustrated Biter
  • Some biters lack the skills to cope with situations such as the desire for an adult’s attention or another child’s toy.
  • The child may not have intended to hurt another child.

Strategies:

  • Tend to the victim immediately.
  • Explain to the biter that biting hurts.
  • Help them develop language skills. Watch for signs of rising frustration.
threatened biter
Threatened Biter

Some children may feel they are in danger and bite in self-defense. They may be overwhelmed by their surroundings and bite as a means of regaining control.

Strategies:

  • Assure the child that he/she is safe.
  • The child may become threatened by situations such as newly separated parents, the death of a grandparent or a mother returning to work.
  • The child may require additional nurturing.
the power biter
The Power Biter
  • Some children experience a strong need for autonomy and control. As soon as they see the response they get from biting, the behavior is strongly reinforced. If the biter gets attention when he/she is not biting, the child will not have to resort to aggressive behavior to feel a sense of personal power.

Strategies

    • Give the biter choices throughout the day and reinforce positive social behavior (i.e. sharing)
developmental scenarios that may contribute to biting
Developmental Scenarios that may contribute to biting
  • Teething
  • Difficulty getting along with others (social interactions)
  • Imitation
the teething biter
The Teething Biter
  • Infants and toddlers may experience discomfort when teething. A natural response by the child is to apply pressure to the gums by biting on things. (Similar to the experimental biter)
the social biter
The Social Biter
  • Many times an infant or toddler bites when trying to interact with another child. This age child has not yet developed the social skills to indicate ”Hi, I want to play with you.”
the imitative biter
The Imitative Biter
  • Imitation is one of the ways children learn. It is not uncommon for a child to bite after he/she has observed this behavior.
what to do when biting occurs
What to do when biting occurs
  • Infants may not understand the difference between biting a toy and biting a person.
  • Never, ever bite back! It communicates to the child that violence is acceptable.
what to do when biting occurs19
What to do when biting occurs
  • Have children age two and over assist in the

first aid process. Teacher needs to

demonstrate “gentle touches”.

  • Stress communication skills. Help children

learn new words and learn to express their

feelings.

  • Say “No” in a firm voice.
what to do when biting occurs20
What to do when biting occurs

Analyze your environment:

  • Is it crowded?
  • Are there enough toys?
  • Are the children receiving enough attention?
  • Are children well supervised?
  • Are children hungry or sleepy prior to lunch or nap?
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Developing an Action PlanObjective: To decrease the numbers of biting incidences in the toddler classroom. (Sample plan)
interventions for the child who bites
Interventions for the Child Who Bites
  • “Shadow” the biter
  • Have duplicate materials
  • Provide a variety of options and sensory motor choices
  • Adjust nap and lunch time if necessary
  • Strengthen the sense of security and stability in the environment
  • Maintain a consistent routine
interventions for the child who bites cont
Interventions for the Child Who Bites (cont)
  • Use redirection
  • Analyze your environment—space, toys
  • “Catch” them being good
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Behavior Modification
interventions for the child who is bitten
Interventions for the Child Who is Bitten
  • Comfort the child who was bitten
  • Cleanse the wound with mild soap and water. Provide an ice pack to reduce pain and swelling
  • Provide comfort for the wounded child by saying, “That really hurt! You don't like it when your friend bites your arm!”
provider strategies in the classroom
Provider Strategies: In the Classroom
  • Create warm / cozy places to be
  • Avoid unnecessary staffing changes
  • Develop and maintain group rituals
  • Have noise absorbing material in the classroom
  • Provide toys and materials that are open- ended
  • Teach children age appropriate ways to control themselves
communicating with the family of the child who is the biter
Communicating with the family of the child who is the biter
  • Notify parents in writing (Accident/Incident Report)
  • Classroom meeting with teacher/director
  • Review the classroom biting log
  • Obtain information about home-is the child biting at home?
  • Is the child getting bitten at home?
  • Determine which type of biter he or she may be
  • Develop/Discuss action plan with parents
  • Notify parents that Medical Records of children will not be released (violates HIPAA Privacy Rule)
  • Stress confidentiality
communicating with the family of a child who has been bitten
Communicating with the family of a child who has been bitten
  • Notify parents in writing (Accident/Incident Report)
  • NEVER release the name of the biter
  • Notify parents that Medical Records of biter shall not be released (violates HIPAA Privacy Rule)
  • Be sympathetic, not apologetic (apology can imply there is a foolproof way to prevent biting)
  • Discuss general action plan with parents
  • Stress confidentiality
in summary
In Summary
  • Explore relationships between child development and biting
  • Be familiar with types of biters
  • Use strategies for each type of biter
  • Develop an action plan when needed
  • Effectively communicate with parents
  • Re-evaluate Action Plan after each incident
resources
Resources
  • Healthy Kids, Healthy Care: Biting and Other Aggressive Behaviors

http://www.healthykids.us/chapters/biting_main.htm  (Has even MORE resources within this page.  Great website for parents!)

  • Dealing with Biting Behaviors in Young (Early Childhood and Parenting ECAP-Collaborative) 

http://ceep.crc.uiuc.edu/poptopics/biting.html  This report discusses (1) why young children bite, (2) how common biting problems are, (3) what interventions might be considered, and (4) how teachers or caregivers can interact with and involve parents in dealing with biting behavior.

  • Fact Sheet for Families: Biting (California Childcare Health Program) http://www.ucsfchildcarehealth.org/pdfs/factsheets/bitingen011804.pdf
more resources
More Resources
  • AAP Fact Sheet – Biting

http://www.ecels-healthychildcarepa.org/content/FS-biting.pdf (American Academy of Pediatrics)

  • Biters: Why They Do It and What to Do About It http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content3/biters.p.t.4.html (National Association for the Education of Young Children)
  • A Bite in the Playroom: Managing Human Bites in Day Care Settings http://www.cps.ca/english/statements/ID/id98-01.htm (Canadian Paediatric Society)
acknowledgements
Acknowledgements

Jennie W. Trovinger

EC Consultants, Inc.

[email protected]

Bethany Geldmaker, PhD

Claire Wood, RN, Child Care Health Consultant

Healthy Child Care Virginia

Virginia Department of Health

www.vahealth.org/childadolescenthealth

[email protected]

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