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  #1  
Old 08-07-2014, 06:32 PM
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Unhappy What To Do When Your Child Is Being Bitten On A Near Daily Basis?

My child is enrolled in a rather pricey, and well reviewed daycare center in our area. He was recently moved up from their infant program (of which we absolutely loved the staff and experience) to their toddler program, and since this move he has been bitten by other children on an almost daily basis. He has been bitten by another child somewhere in the range of 80-90% of the days he has attended over the past 2 months. Most of the bites had come 1 specific child, who was moved to another room earlier this week due to these incidents. Our child then made it 1 full day without being bitten before he was bitten by yet another child today. From everything they are telling us, he has not been doing anything to trigger these biting incidents, but they think he's getting picked on because he's the new guy in the room. Another new child to this room a week or so ago was bitten on both of the 1st two days he was in the room as well. There has even been a staffing change in the room, which we hoped would help solve the problem, but it has not. Until the change in rooms, we couldn't have been more thrilled with our experiences with the staff at this center. We have had several sit down talks with the staff and directors, and they keep telling us new things they are going to try to do to resolve the situation, but none of them have worked. We're really getting to the point where we're considering changing day care centers because we just can't drop our child off somewhere that we think there's a 90% likelihood that he will be bitten on any given day. Every other well reviewed daycare center in our area has a long wait list to get in, so we're kind of stuck in the situation for the time being. Is there anything else we could, or should be doing to put pressure on the center to get this issue resolved? We're at the end of our rope with this... We just want our child to be safe, and right now we certainly do not feel that way. Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Old 08-07-2014, 06:52 PM
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Have you tried looking into a good quality family childcare? They are smaller than centers and may not have a long waiting list. Having to send your child into a situation that he is more than likely to be harmed that day must be upsetting to say the least!!
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:10 PM
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Have you tried looking into a good quality family childcare? They are smaller than centers and may not have a long waiting list. Having to send your child into a situation that he is more than likely to be harmed that day must be upsetting to say the least!!
Thanks for the advice. We have just looked up a couple such places and will be calling tomorrow to see what they have available. We'd really love to resolve things with our current center, but we really need to have a backup plan in place in case they are unable (or unwilling to do what is needed) to resolve the culture of biting that has been established in our child's current room. We just can't take it anymore, and will do whatever is necessary to ensure our child is in a safe environment.
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:12 PM
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I would make sure the staff and director know you are serious and will pull your child if things do not change. I have had biters before in my center, and realize it is hard to get it stopped, but it must be! We usually shadow the biter and we try to stop it before it happens. Usually once the biter stops getting what they want and find they are placed in time out and not allowed to play it starts to curb the biting. I am not saying it stops overnight, but it sounds like the center needs to get a handle on this problem. Good luck, I hope you can get this stopped without leaving the center if your child and you like it there. Also, if the staff thinks your child is getting bitten because he is new, it might be better if staff shadow him, and then can prevent it from happening.
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:29 AM
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I hope you can get it resolved. As a home daycare provider, I can tell you that biting is a huge issue it can be very hard if not impossible to stop. The advantage of a home daycare, is that many providers will just not keep a biter very long. There is very little discipline that any provider can give for the biting regardless of a center or home, so that can be part of the problem, the biggest option is to break the habit. I agree with previous poster who suggested letting them know you are considering leaving. If that doesn't help, I would try a home provider. There are awesome ones out there, and you may fall in love with one!
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:35 AM
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While you are sorting things out and trying to find a solution, I'd put long sleeves and pants on your child. At least this helps with the pain of a bite. I realize it is summer but inside it is air conditioned.

I also think the staff needs to know you are ready to pull soon if this is not resolved.

It does sound like the staff is trying. It is a hard situation from their perspective too. I've had a biter or two in my home daycare over the years. So hard as it happens so fast even when you are closely supervising.

Laurel
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Laurel View Post
While you are sorting things out and trying to find a solution, I'd put long sleeves and pants on your child. At least this helps with the pain of a bite. I realize it is summer but inside it is air conditioned.

I also think the staff needs to know you are ready to pull soon if this is not resolved.

It does sound like the staff is trying. It is a hard situation from their perspective too. I've had a biter or two in my home daycare over the years. So hard as it happens so fast even when you are closely supervising.

Laurel
Especially when there appear to be multiple biters! I feel bad for everyone involved.

OP; keep in mind, you may find another wonderful program or FCC, but your child could have the same issues there. Unfortunately, biting is a rather common 1-year old behavior. It's certainly not acceptable behavior, but it's common.

Consider this: Hitting and pushing are also common and unacceptable behaviors. You don't know about each on of those incidents, though. The difference is that biting leaves a mark.

In my daycare, the typical biting scenario has been that the child bitten usually "invades" the other's space, and biting, unfortunately, is a very effective way to get someone to move away. If they're open to suggestions, perhaps making splitting the room with shelving or gates into two areas (so everyone is in sight and sound) and bringing down the lights/noise a bit could help. Maybe the room is overwhelming? That, and as much outdoor time as they can get. For some reason, outdoor biting seems rare.
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Old 08-08-2014, 05:22 AM
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Especially when there appear to be multiple biters! I feel bad for everyone involved.

OP; keep in mind, you may find another wonderful program or FCC, but your child could have the same issues there. Unfortunately, biting is a rather common 1-year old behavior. It's certainly not acceptable behavior, but it's common.

Consider this: Hitting and pushing are also common and unacceptable behaviors. You don't know about each on of those incidents, though. The difference is that biting leaves a mark.

In my daycare, the typical biting scenario has been that the child bitten usually "invades" the other's space, and biting, unfortunately, is a very effective way to get someone to move away. If they're open to suggestions, perhaps making splitting the room with shelving or gates into two areas (so everyone is in sight and sound) and bringing down the lights/noise a bit could help. Maybe the room is overwhelming? That, and as much outdoor time as they can get. For some reason, outdoor biting seems rare.
So true. I have noticed the outside thing too. I have also noticed that a lot of times a biter will bite only one child and leave the others alone for one reason or another. In one case I had it was because the bitee was a touchy/feely type little girl and was always in the other child's personal space. She was bugging him but not mean. It wasn't right to bite but you could kind of see why it was happening. I went so far as to just separate them physically as much as humanly possible because they were too young to understand how to change the situation.

It is really rough. My last biter was my grandson and I wasn't going to term him. I watched him like a hawk and took every chance to separate him from the bitee. When he did bite the mom wasn't upset at all. This was her second child with me. She reminded me that her son was the 'biter' when he was with me and now her daughter was the 'bitee'. I had forgotten that completely!

Getting bit every day is not acceptable though. They have to have a way to separate them as much as they can. I had them both on different sides of a gate before and darn if the biter didn't get her over the gate. They go to the gate because they miss each other.

Laurel
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Old 08-08-2014, 05:30 AM
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Most centers are required to have a written plan of action on how they will manage certain behaviors. Biting is usually one of them.

I'd look in your parent handbook and see if the center has any sort of written plan on how they deal with biting.

I'd also sit down and talk with the director and share your concerns.

I imagine that if there is a biter in the room, your child is more than likely not the only one being bitten and if that is the case, then you are probably not the only parent on the verge of pulling their child out of care.

As a business owner, I'd want to work to keep my clients happy and if one child is causing an issue for others then something NEEDS to be done.
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:23 AM
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I just got this brochure, which I found well written.

http://www.chs-ca.org/_images/files/..._Eng_print.pdf
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Old 08-08-2014, 07:06 AM
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Thanks for the advice. We have just looked up a couple such places and will be calling tomorrow to see what they have available. We'd really love to resolve things with our current center, but we really need to have a backup plan in place in case they are unable (or unwilling to do what is needed) to resolve the culture of biting that has been established in our child's current room. We just can't take it anymore, and will do whatever is necessary to ensure our child is in a safe environment.
I will be frank. I would not drop my child off ANYWHERE that I believe they will be bitten. The only resolution after your explaining that your child is being bitten everyday is to take YOUR CHILD out of the situation.

I have a responsibility as a provider. Does biting happen? Yes. Have I got it under control? Yes. In a center situation, I would suggest since your child is the one who seems to be getting bitten daily that they shadow him until it curbs. Even so, as a parent it would’ve been already too much for me to subject my child to.

I wish you and your family the best.
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Old 08-08-2014, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Daycaregranny View Post
Have you tried looking into a good quality family childcare? They are smaller than centers and may not have a long waiting list. Having to send your child into a situation that he is more than likely to be harmed that day must be upsetting to say the least!!
No offense intended to responsible centers, however, at some centers, your kid is $200/week. Nothing more. So is the kid who is biting. If a child is biting another 90% of days for 2 months, the child should have been removed from the center, IMO. I'm very willing to work with a biter, but for this to continue to happen so often, for so long, they're not taking the appropriate steps to stop the behavior. For example: a biter has to stay right next to me until their behavior improves-I do my darndest to make sure that the opportunity to bite doesn't arise. It doesn't work 100% of the time, but it should work more than 10%-20% of the time.

I agree that I would find a family child care who can focus more attention on supervision.
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:17 PM
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Thanks everybody for trying to help out with this. We've found a few family day cares in the area that have openings and will be going around to visit them in the coming week so that we have a back-up plan ready to go in the case that things don't get resolved at our current center.

From what they're telling us on when, and how it's happening, it doesn't seem to be a case where he's getting in other kids' personal space. Most of the bites have been on the back, back of the shoulders, and back of the arms. They say the primary biter just walks up behind him and chomps him, usually when they're changing another child's diaper, or are otherwise occupied. The location of the bites are consistent with this claim. The severity of the bites has varied, but there was one incident where he was bitten on his shoulder hard enough to break skin, and a month later there is still visible marks from that particular attack. This "primary biter" child has been removed from our child's room, but there was another incident with this same kid biting our child after he was moved to the other room as they passed each other's groups during the shift change for recess outside. They are supposed to be doing everything in their power to keep this primary biter away from our child from here on out.

I am going to be meeting with the center's director on monday, and will let her know just how close we are to pulling him out of there. We're still holding on to the hope that this can work out, but it's by an ever shrinking thread...
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:36 PM
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Wow so he pulled a quick attack. I wonder if this child is also biting others, or if there is a bad chemistry between yours and this one. The center likely can't tell you that, but the fact he pulled a quick one like that makes me wonder.
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Old 08-08-2014, 09:49 PM
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Wow so he pulled a quick attack. I wonder if this child is also biting others, or if there is a bad chemistry between yours and this one. The center likely can't tell you that, but the fact he pulled a quick one like that makes me wonder.
The day care can't tell us directly about any of the details involving other children including who bit whom, but the mothers of the kids in the class all know each and talk about it, so we've got a pretty clear idea of what's going on. The main biter has definitely bitten other children many times as well, including incidents on back to back days with another child that was new to the room a couple weeks ago (our kiddo was not there on these days). I'm pretty sure that 2 other kids (besides the main offender) that are biting other children on occasion were former victims of the main offender, and can only guess that their actions stem from this. I pray that our child doesn't catch this bug, and start biting others too. I don't want to point any fingers here though... I just want my kid to be safe, period. I'm done hearing about what new they're going to try to do to fix it. I really don't care what they do at this point, I only care about the results.
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Old 08-09-2014, 05:47 AM
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Some centers have rules that if a child bites a certain # of times in a day or in a week , they are to stay home a day . I think ours is 2x a day or 4 x a week . I am not sure if they really enforce it. I do know they give the parents of the biter a note every time it happens .
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:11 PM
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That's a toughy! There is no quick solution to stop the biting. I would talk you the director and make sure they know your serious about the situation. Maybe a change is the answer for you if they can't find a solution.
Deb
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:56 AM
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As a person who worked in a center, specifically in the 1-year-old class, I can tell you that it is REALLY hard to stop a toddler from biting.

I don't know how many kids they have in the room in your center, but ours was allowed 8 until we had to have a 2nd teacher in there.

And you can't keep a child in a time-out chair for longer than 5 minutes with state.

I would keep the 2 known biters in the chairs while I changed the other kids.

But when I put them down, it was like I had a room full of vampires and werewolves. There would be scratching ( even though I kept on parents to TRIM thier kids nails.... And there would be biting.

I would fuss at the biter, put them in time out, and console the bitee. Including showing the biter what they did, and that it isn't nice.

I felt bad for the ones that got bit, but 1/2 of the time it was their fault. They would be aggravating the biter ( taking toys, pushing, crawling on top of them). And until they are closer to 2 and can speak, biting is their form of communicating " get away from me".
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:44 AM
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As a person who worked in a center, specifically in the 1-year-old class, I can tell you that it is REALLY hard to stop a toddler from biting.

I don't know how many kids they have in the room in your center, but ours was allowed 8 until we had to have a 2nd teacher in there.

And you can't keep a child in a time-out chair for longer than 5 minutes with state.

I would keep the 2 known biters in the chairs while I changed the other kids.

But when I put them down, it was like I had a room full of vampires and werewolves. There would be scratching ( even though I kept on parents to TRIM thier kids nails.... And there would be biting.

I would fuss at the biter, put them in time out, and console the bitee. Including showing the biter what they did, and that it isn't nice.

I felt bad for the ones that got bit, but 1/2 of the time it was their fault. They would be aggravating the biter ( taking toys, pushing, crawling on top of them). And until they are closer to 2 and can speak, biting is their form of communicating " get away from me".
I have had the same experience as far as biters go (when I worked in a daycare center and in my own in-home).
Now that I operate an in-home, I have children for many years instead of just a bit before they leave for the next room. The only real biter I have had in this business always bit ONE child. As they grew up, they became "friends" but they fought worse and aggravated each other more than any sibling set I have ever seen. They were truly frenemies and it appeared to start from the beginning. Very interesting.
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:39 AM
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I have had the same experience as far as biters go (when I worked in a daycare center and in my own in-home).
Now that I operate an in-home, I have children for many years instead of just a bit before they leave for the next room. The only real biter I have had in this business always bit ONE child. As they grew up, they became "friends" but they fought worse and aggravated each other more than any sibling set I have ever seen. They were truly frenemies and it appeared to start from the beginning. Very interesting.
I can attest to the same. Every biter I had only bit one other child, the child being bitten was always in the biters space..and they ended up playing together (and fighting with each other) as they grew.
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Old 08-14-2014, 04:40 PM
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I'm wondering if the op will update on what she decided to do? It sounds like they determined that he bites while they are occupied changing diapers and such, so why can't they segregate him during that time? Put him in his crib with a few toys or in a high chair with a few toys. Or have him sit in the floor next to the provider while she changes diapers. If they have identified when he does it, he should be separated from the group at those times.
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:14 AM
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Talking made it first full week without a bite!

We made it through this week without a biting incident! I know that this might not seem like a huge deal to some, but after what we've been through, this was a much needed milestone. It also has been the longest stretch we've had since being moved to the toddler room a couple months back without a bite. I know there still may be further incidents in the future, but at least things seem to be trending in the right direction. We are really hoping this can continue, and we can stay with our current day care center. I know the staff there is trying to do everything they can to protect our child from being bitten, and it looks like they may have finally solved the puzzle of how to achieve that. They've at least bought themselves some more time to show they can indeed provide a safe environment for him, and have gotten us back off the ledge of pulling him out of their center.

I again want to thank everyone on here that has chimed in with some advice for us. We now have a backup plan in place in case this doesn't work out with our current center, and that alone helps my wife and I sleep better at night. I truly hope we never have to go to plan B, but at least it's ready to go in case we do need it.

I really can't explain how much this bite free week has meant to our family. I kinda want to go do a few cartwheels or something...
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Old 08-17-2014, 03:32 PM
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I bet the classroom teachers are happy too! Hopefully this will be the end of your problems and your family can continue in the center you like.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:24 PM
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Sorry double post!
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:08 AM
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I will be frank. I would not drop my child off ANYWHERE that I believe they will be bitten. The only resolution after your explaining that your child is being bitten everyday is to take YOUR CHILD out of the situation.

I have a responsibility as a provider. Does biting happen? Yes. Have I got it under control? Yes. In a center situation, I would suggest since your child is the one who seems to be getting bitten daily that they shadow him until it curbs. Even so, as a parent it would’ve been already too much for me to subject my child to.

I wish you and your family the best.
no way would I subject my child to a situation where the odds of being bitten are 80-90%!!! Things may be going well for now, but if this happens again, I would pull. This stage of development is a huge reason I opened my own daycare. I have worked in multiple centers, and this is an issue at every single one of them- usually it's too many kids (even within ratio) in a small space, that cannot talk. Mixed age groups that are common in home daycares are a better fit because usually your child is with fewer children in his age group, and the older kids set a great example (for the most part). I personally am not a fan of large centers for the little ones, IMHO.
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:55 AM
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No offense intended to responsible centers, however, at some centers, your kid is $200/week. Nothing more. So is the kid who is biting. If a child is biting another 90% of days for 2 months, the child should have been removed from the center, IMO. I'm very willing to work with a biter, but for this to continue to happen so often, for so long, they're not taking the appropriate steps to stop the behavior. For example: a biter has to stay right next to me until their behavior improves-I do my darndest to make sure that the opportunity to bite doesn't arise. It doesn't work 100% of the time, but it should work more than 10%-20% of the time.

I agree that I would find a family child care who can focus more attention on supervision.
Sadly, I agree with this. Had this child been enrolled in my daycare, he would have been put on probation, a plan of action would have been put into place, and he would have been shadowed. IF I couldn't COMPLETELY STOP the biting, he would have been terminated.

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no way would I subject my child to a situation where the odds of being bitten are 80-90%!!! Things may be going well for now, but if this happens again, I would pull. This stage of development is a huge reason I opened my own daycare. I have worked in multiple centers, and this is an issue at every single one of them- usually it's too many kids (even within ratio) in a small space, that cannot talk. Mixed age groups that are common in home daycares are a better fit because usually your child is with fewer children in his age group, and the older kids set a great example (for the most part). I personally am not a fan of large centers for the little ones, IMHO.
I agree. I love having 2 of 'each' age. ( 2 2yos, 2 3yos, 2 4yos). Parents hear "Kids their own age" and don't see the huge downfalls.
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Old 08-22-2014, 01:19 PM
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have u talked to them about possibly suspending the biter for a few days if he continues to bite. Sooo sorry this is happening!
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