As a working mother, you trust your child’s daycare to keep them safe while you’re at work. However, sometimes incidents occur which are beyond our control, such as a child biting another child. Learn what to do if your child gets bitten at daycare.
Frequency of Biting Incidents in Day Care
Contrary to popular belief, biting is a common behavior among young children, especially during the toddler stage when children are still developing their language and communication skills. In fact, the American Psychological Association reports that as many as one-third to one-half of all young children in daycare experience a biting incident.
Understanding Why Children Bite
Biting can be caused by a variety of factors. Toddlers are just beginning to learn how to communicate, and they can get frustrated when they can’t articulate their needs and feelings. Kids at that age are also big explorers, and biting is a means of obtaining sensory input and testing cause and effect.
Babies may bite because they’re teething, and preschoolers may bite out of stress and anxiety. All these behaviors are normal, but parents must address them immediately so they don’t become chronic.
Treatment of Human Bites
If another child bites your child at daycare, it’s essential to know the proper treatment for human bites.
Wash gently with soap and water: As soon as you learn of the incident, clean the wound gently but thoroughly to prevent infection.
Press with a clean cloth to stop bleeding: If the bite causes bleeding, apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth to control it.
Apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage: Use an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment on the cleaned wound, then cover it with a bandage.
When to call your pediatrician: Check to see If the bite broke the skin, even if it isn’t bleeding. If there’s damage to the skin, it’s important to consult your pediatrician for guidance. They may recommend updating your child’s vaccinations.
Talk to the Child Care Facility About Prevention
After you tackle the immediate concerns, it’s crucial to have a conversation with your child’s daycare provider about how they plan to prevent future biting incidents.
Staff supervision: Ensure the center maintains adequate staff-to-child ratios and the staff is attentive to children’s needs and behaviors.
Age-appropriate activities: Biting can occur out of frustration, boredom, or overstimulation. Ask about the activities provided for your child and whether they cater to their developmental stage.
Communication strategies: Ensure the daycare staff is teaching and reinforcing effective communication strategies to help children express their emotions and resolve conflicts without resorting to biting.
Handling biting incidents: Ask about the daycare’s protocol for handling biting incidents, including how they address the behavior with both the biter and the bitten child.
Knowing what to do when your child gets bitten at daycare is essential, along with working with your child’s daycare staff to create a safe and nurturing environment for all children. By being proactive and addressing biting incidents right away, you take an essential step in safeguarding your child’s well-being.
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