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My baby being bitten and scratched 5 times in 1 month

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#1 Baby Elmo

Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:29 PM

Hey all

My one year old baby has only been in daycare centre 3 days a week for 5 weeks, so been there for 15 days. She's since been bitten by other kids 4 times, and today another kid scratched her cheeks and her lips even bled.

I'm mortified and quite stressed, but being a first time mum, I'm not sure if this is normal in day care centres. Could I ask if anyone of you have had similar experiences where your babies are bitten regularly at centres ? I'm contemplating whether to start searching for a new centre for her

thanks in advance.

#2 MummaDiva

Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:39 PM

You poor thing - it's awful having to worry if your kids are OK while you are at work.
Biting and scratching is something that kids just "do", but I would expect my center to let me know of any incidents.  A bleeding scratch is something that requires a little bit of explanation, I would say.  Being bitten 4 times ... does seem like an awful lot.

My DDs day care actually asks the parents of any LOs with long fingernails to cut them before they leave, just to avert this kind of thing.  Nail clippers are kept by the door (and are stored in disinfectant - Milton? maybe? before and after each use).  Perhaps you could suggest such a policy?

#3 Guest_Cathode_*

Posted 22 February 2012 - 01:11 AM

Each of my boys were bitten once, maybe twice in their entire time in daycare (about 2.5yrs each in daycare). So, yeah, 4 times in 5 weeks is A LOT.

Do you know if it is the same child each time biting yours?

Edited by Cathode, 22 February 2012 - 01:12 AM.

#4 Carmen02

Posted 22 February 2012 - 04:46 AM

that is alot for a short space, i would question the carers see what sort of response you get even stick around spying see how you go! nothing worse worrying about them in childcare

#5 BlondieUK

Posted 22 February 2012 - 05:23 AM

1. Do they know who is doing the biting? If not, why not?
2. Is it the same child, or mostly the same child?
3. If so, what measures are being put in place to make sure it stops happening?
4. Did they tell you in a timely way? If not, why not?
5. Is there an incident report? If not, why not?

I would be asking thee questions in a pretty firm way - if the responses are not satisfactory, I would be finding new child care (and I hear about how tough this can be) and writing a pretty strong letter of complaint to their head office or the government body that oversees their licencing.

(Take photos of any injuries).

#6 meggs10

Posted 22 February 2012 - 05:29 AM

I would never tolerate biting at Child Care and would put in a complaint with the Manager of the Centre. I had the same problem when my DS1 was 18 months and I told the Centre to do something about or I would be taking him out, and they did. He was never bitten again for the remainder of the time he was there.

I'm surprised that a previous PP wrote: (Biting and scratching is something that kids just "do") because it isn't. How would like to be bitten and scratched everyday? Why should kids have to put up with that just because they are kids?

#7 poss71

Posted 22 February 2012 - 05:33 AM

I'd be asking for an explanation: Firstly, why is it happening; is your baby in the wrong age group (are the other kids much bigger?); should there be more/better supervision of a particular child/children/play area. Secondly, what steps are they taking to manage the situation and prevent it from occurring again.

That many incidents in five weeks suggests a problem.  If you can't get a satisfactory response and action plan from the carers, speak to the director or centre manager.

It is highly unlikely they will give you information about the child or children involved, but you can insist on them telling you how many children have been involved, as this will not be a breach of privacy.

Without knowing more, I am speculating, but I'd say if it's one child I would insist on closer management of both children until the problem resolves (and it should, if that's the case); but if it's two or more, you may be experiencing a systemic problem with the care provided in that room.

If it's the latter - and you think the problem is with the carers rather than the kids - speak to management; jump up and down, explain that you expect better care than she is receiving and start to look at other centres in case it doesn't improve. Tell the director you are looking as well, as their response will give you an idea of their interest level. Be 'that' mum, it's your child you are protecting and you are entitled to good quality care for her.

We had a problem with biting and scratching with DD1 being regularly 'marked up' at a centre she attended 3 x week. DD1 was new to the centre. It was one child doing the scratching/biting - both were around the 11 - 13m age, IIRC. They were interested in the same toys and didn't have the skills to negotiate. Both were upset, but my DD didn't react the same way as the other child, she just snatched instead of scratching! It happened in front of me one day around pick up time (we used to play for a bit before leaving); I gave them both a cuddle and showed them 'gentle hands', then found a similar toy so each could sit side by side and play.  I asked the carers to allow them to sit together in this way, but supervised to make sure neither one was missing out in future. They are now good friends at 4yo and there were no further incidents.

So it's not always a major problem, but I would have preferred closer management in my own situation, as both kids were upsetting each other, but DD1 had shorter nails lol.

Good luck sorting it out.

#8 Rosie Sparkle

Posted 22 February 2012 - 05:37 AM

As the mother of a biter I agree totally with BlondieUK. Although I had advised the day care of DS's biting there were changes to teachers etc they hadn't passed the message onto the new teacher. Irrespective of the miscommunication, the biting needed to stop.

I was notified of the incident that day, asked to sign an accident form. I also notified them of the steps we were following at home to stop the biting. We also discussed the triggers that caused DS to bite. The teachers were more vigilant in watching DS during times where he may be wanting to bite. Finally we agreed that I continue with the steps taken at home. Thankfully there was never a recurrence.

I would also start searching for another centre just to determine what options you have.

#9 The Falcon

Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:45 AM

As PP have said, biting and scratching is normal behaviour for that age group, but that is why the carers should be watching out for these sorts of things.

My DD has been in LDC since 12 weeks and has on occasion been noth a biter and a bitee, so I don't think it has much to do with being new.  At around 12 months she was bitten 3 times in 2 weeks, all by the same child, and always because DD was trying to take the other childs toy.  I got incident reports every time (even though there was often no mark by pick up time).  The staff told me they had spoken to the offending childs parents, and they tried to jump in when they saw DD and the other child going near each other but on those occasions they had been too quick for them.  I don't know whether the other child got over their biting at this point or the carers got better at getting in between them, but after this 2 week period it stopped.

At another point somewhere between 10-18 months (can't remember extactly) DD went through a biting stage where she was biting everyone very very often (adults included).  We made the staff aware of it, and during that 2 months or so where she was going through that stage she only bit another child once.

So, I suppose I am saying that it is normal behaviour but the staff should be better at stopping it than that.  Also important to know if it is the same child doing it every time, as if its the same child it sounds like it is that childs issue, but if it is different children biting your child then it may be that being new to the daycare environment your child is still learning to share and constantly grabbing other childrens toys or something, in which case I don't think the carers can be blamed as they can't just follow your child around all day to make sure she doesn't get into trouble

#10 belsy

Posted 22 February 2012 - 07:55 AM

I think I would be asking whether it was the same child biting your little one and whether there was a management strategy in place.

Scratches IMO are  a dime a dozen at creche.

FWIW DS1 was bitten probably 10 times in his 4+ years of creche, once badly.  DS2 just a couple so far.  I always took photos although I didn't really know what I would actually do with them, I thought it was best to document them.

Also I thought any injury to the face required an incident report.  I know that I got sick of getting called up through the years for a scratch but I believe it is mandatory.

#11 Guest_GreyMatter_*

Posted 22 February 2012 - 08:12 AM

I agree with Blondie UK.

DS was bitten once or maybe twice in the 3 years he was at daycare, so I think that 5 times in 4 weeks is a lot.

I'd be asking questions.

#12 oneday01

Posted 25 February 2012 - 07:28 PM

working in childcare i have seen this issue alot. it is very common to have children that bite others out of frustration and dont have the language skills to communicate. it is usually over wanting the same toy etc. It happens fast and even as a career you can be right next to them and still not be able to stop it from happening in time.
keeping a close eye on the children who are known to be bitters is very important to watch their behaviour you can usually tell when its about to happen.
But keep in mind that there are many things happening at one time with so many children and only few staff that it wont always be able to be stopped.
but hopefully the centre is aware of the bitters and also communicates to the parents of the bitter to make sure they are aware of the behaviour. The careers should be doing all they can to help prevent this from happen.
Also currently im working in the babies room and there is a  baby who is learning to walk. He pulls himself up on top of other babies and can sometimes bite or scatch other babies when doing so.

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