How many bites from another child whilst at nursery is too many?

(19 Posts)
Ilovenannyplum Wed 27-Jan-16 19:03:25

DS is 17 months, in the baby room at nursery (up to 18 months in his room) he goes 2 days per week.

Last month he was bitten twice in one day and also badly scratched all by the same child (its left a faint scar) Marks from bites were still there 5 days later. Proper big bites, loads of teeth marks, bruising etc. Also unprovoked I should add.

Obviously wasn't happy, spoke to nursery, they were very apologetic. Kids bite. I get that, but this wasn't a little nip, this was like jaws had got hold of him.
Anyway, action plan in place to keep a closer eye on the biter. Fine. I was ok with that.

Fast forward to this week, he came home with another bad bite. Same kid. Again, pretty much unprovoked. This was Monday, still marks and bruising today.

I don't really know what to do, I feel so awful that I've left him there and he's getting hurt. I know kids bite and whack each other and I fully expect that, and I'm sure one day it'll be my DS whacking someone. But these bites aren't little nips, they look really painful.

They said there is an action plan in place to prevent incidents but it's clearly not working if he's getting bitten still, do I ask to see the action plan?
I know it's hard to stop such little ones from certain behaviour but I can't have my little boy being hurt whilst this other one grows out of this behaviour.

Any advice?

I would like to add as a side note that my DS should be moving out of this room next month but as he is having problems with his walking, he'll be kept in the baby room until he is more confident and so he doesn't get trampled on by the bigger toddlers so he's not escaping confinement with the biter anytime soon!

FanSpamTastic Wed 27-Jan-16 19:27:55

I come at this from a different perspective - I had the biter. She only did it at nursery and was not a biter at home or playgroup or anywhere where I could have any influence. I was mortified turning up at nursery to find out she had bitten again and it was always the same child. I got quite upset with nursery because I felt they were not supervising closely enough so that they could spot the behaviour that was triggering the reaction and then take the necessary actions to stop it and teach her that it was wrong. As she wasn't doing it outside of nursery there were few opportunities for me to reinforce any learning outside as she was too young to refer back to something that had happened hours ago at nursery. In the end she stopped - it was only a couple of weeks - but was awful at the time. I would insist on seeing the action plan and make sure the nursery staff in his room are all aware that your child is being bitten so that they know to intervene. Please be aware that this behaviour is common at this particular age group (dd was around 18 months) and tends not to last very long.

anastasiakrupnik Wed 27-Jan-16 19:29:31

How does he react? Just wondered if they look worse than they are. Mine was bitten 5 times in about 6 months, which i did get a bit fed up with especially the 2 times when nursery hadn't noticed, we just found the marks later - but then he never cried so missed it (and must have been annoying for him but no more painful than general tussling over toys). Though he had red bite marks but not bruising.

Ilovenannyplum Wed 27-Jan-16 19:32:17

I think that's why I'm annoyed, not at all with the biter, I get completely that they go through phases etc and that he'll grow out of it but with the nursery staff, if they know that a child is prone to biting, and that it's an active problem, why aren't they keeping a closer eye on him? And then intervening before he gets the chance to take chunks out of my DS's arm?

Ilovenannyplum Wed 27-Jan-16 19:33:53

He gets upset, that's what makes me feel so bad.
He's being hurt, he's getting upset and I've put him in that situation.
He sits and holds his arm and kisses where he's been bitten sad

Lucked Wed 27-Jan-16 19:35:26

If the other child can walk it is very difficult to stop it, a nip takes the the same time as a proper bite and it can happen so fast you need to be only one step away and you are too late.

My children have been both victims and the biter so I never got too upset although ds had a couple of corker a from one boy - one bled and one was like a big love bite on his back. They are 4 now and really good friends. Could they start settling him into the next room to give the two of them a break from each other.

LeaLeander Wed 27-Jan-16 19:42:05

Poor little tyke. I would be irate. Clearly the nursery staff need to be more vigilant or perhaps the biter should stay home for a few days to break the cycle. Why is she preying on your child in particular?

Ilovenannyplum Wed 27-Jan-16 19:44:23

I wish they could but when I say he isn't very confident with walking, I mean he cannot walk or stand unaided (he's seeing a hosp pead to check everything's ok shortly) so he can't go up yet, he'll get trampled and the nursery won't allow him to move or even be in that room

I think perhaps I need to send him in body armour ....

ZenNudist Wed 27-Jan-16 19:57:08

Both my dc have first been bitten and then later bit. I think parents whose children who don't bite can sometimes be a bit judgemental like it's something a child is doing to be naughty. You don't sound judgemental btw.

When you feel nursery are doing an inadequate job it's difficult as complaints are like water off a ducks back. All you can do is have very regular chats with them. Make it clear that you feel that not enough is being done to supervise the biter. Ask if the nursery can have a chat with the biter's mum to make it clear that this is happening and they need to take it very seriously if it happens at home (stern face, firm no, no laughing or treating it like a game). It probably won't do anything for the biter but it will involve nursery in an action plan.

Also could request he be moved up to next room early or, if his development won't allow then the biter be moved.

Keep saying when they tell you: 'this is ridiculous' , 'oh no again', 'this is terrible', 'it's always the same child biting I can't understand why you can't deal with a known problem'. Etc. Don't be cowed. You're allowed to say it's not good enough.

I was similarly annoyed with nursery over a toileting issue that they let ds1 wet himself at the same time every day due to staff changes and being in garden so they could have the fewest allowed number of staff as children started to go home. I didn't criticise them outright but I did stay in close contact with the manager about it and made a nuisance of myself in the nicest possible way.

Ilovenannyplum Wed 27-Jan-16 21:01:47

The biters parents know, when it happened the first time, the nursery told me that the biter has elder siblings and that's why he does it.
Errr. No. That's a rubbish excuse (my DS has step brothers and God, the know how to fight but it's not rubbed off on him and he's still the most laid back little person I've ever known)
They also said that the parents were very apologetic, which is all well and good but they have an uninjured child at the end of the day.

I spoke to the manager after I collected him on Monday who again, apologised but there isn't much else they can do, the damage is already done. I think I'll speak to the room leader and key worker when I drop him off tomorrow.
It is not the biters fault but the nursery staff, absolutely need to keep a closer eye on both of them, it's not fair for my DS to take the brunt whilst they wait for him to grow out of it

Fun, this being a parent business hey confused

Needaninsight Wed 27-Jan-16 21:05:50

I removed my kids from nursery and they now go to a childminder.

Let's just say. Both were bitten more than once at nursery. Both had numerous accident forms at nursery. At the childminder? None. No bites. No accident forms.

I actually think nurseries don't monitor children (especially small ones) that well at all. i'd personally lay the law down.

My daughter especially still has a scar from one of the bites - on her face! How the hell you don't manage to stop another child biting a child's face is beyond me! Enough for me to think/know they really were not watching at all.

Starbores Wed 27-Jan-16 21:07:45

Such a difficult one, as somebody above said you can literally be a step away and it happen which I know is no consulation for you or your poor ds.

I would definitley ask to see the action plan and ask if they are including activities and discussion on biting during circle time.

Ilovenannyplum Wed 27-Jan-16 21:15:07

On her face?! Oh Christ, poor thing.

It's awful really, pay all this money for them to look after your most precious thing and they come home hurt.

Yvonne1986 Wed 27-Jan-16 21:19:45

I used to work in a nursery so feel I have to comment on the situation from a nursery nurses perspective. When a nursery manager puts an action plan in place following such an incident it normally involves 1:1 supervision for the bitter. However the staffing numbers are never increased therefore it is so hard for the nursery nurses to ensure the bitter is watched at all times. Maybe try and address this with the nursery and ask if they they supply an extra staff member for the supervision to actually be possible? Hope your DS is ok bites can be so nasty xx

Yvonne1986 Wed 27-Jan-16 21:20:14

I used to work in a nursery so feel I have to comment on the situation from a nursery nurses perspective. When a nursery manager puts an action plan in place following such an incident it normally involves 1:1 supervision for the biter. However the staffing numbers are never increased therefore it is so hard for the nursery nurses to ensure the biter is watched at all times. Maybe try and address this with the nursery and ask if they they supply an extra staff member for the supervision to actually be possible? Hope your DS is ok bites can be so nasty xx

BeaufortBelle Wed 27-Jan-16 21:33:47

Before Yvonne's message I was going to say ask questions about staff ratios and whether they comply at all times with the published sla.

Ilovenannyplum Wed 27-Jan-16 21:34:27

Any input is helpful, thank you. There's been no mention of any one to one supervision or actually any part of the plan. I just had to take their word it was being dealt with but obviously not.
I just got the impression that they just wanted to brush it under the carpet and for me to drop it.

They emailed all the parents today to tell us they were increasing the fees. Super.

Yvonne1986 Wed 27-Jan-16 21:38:32

That's definitely something you should talk to them about then and even ask for a copy of the action plan. Good luck xx

mygrandchildrenrock Wed 27-Jan-16 21:48:10

It is usual, although unpleasant, for most nurseries to have a child who bites. The staffing ratio for your age litte one is 1 adult to 3 babies. A plan is hardly ever written down, but will involve all staff being vigilant, trying to sit between the babies, having one playing inside while the other one is outside etc. However, it is really difficult, biters usually bite very quickly and sometimes you just can't stop it happening. Both sets of parents are often rightly upset about the situation, as are nursery staff. Biters do grow out of it, sometimes quite quickly, but this doesn't help you and your child. It is a difficult situation but not one that can be predicted or solved quickly. It's one of the few behaviours that you really can't do much about, there are many articles written about biters and they mostly conclude that the biting will stop when the biter decides to stop!

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