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Biting

(13 Posts)
TokenBloke Fri 22-Apr-05 09:31:55

DD (22m) attends nursery 3 days / wk. Injuries inflicted by other children used to be few and far between. However, recently she has been coming home with nasty bitemarks nearly every week. Only 3/4 of these seem to get picked up by nursery staff. On speaking to them, they ensure me that this is just a phase kids go through and that they do everything to prevent it. However, I'm not convinced. Often when I go in they have less than the required ratio of staff:kids. I don't feel that they are keeping a close enough eye on the serial biter(s) to prevent this.

Does anyone else have experience of this? Is it normal for kids this age at nursery to suffer so many injuries at the hands of their playmates?
Any ideas? Cheers.

Bethron Fri 22-Apr-05 09:36:29

Message withdrawn

sacha3taylor Fri 22-Apr-05 09:37:34

Is it just one person biting her - have you asked her?

I would definetly talk to management.

Marina Fri 22-Apr-05 09:41:26

I'd agree with Bethron. Biting is a normal phase of development that some children go through and it doesn't necessarily mean the toddler is vicious by nature. We were extremely lucky with ds as he was neither biter nor bitee, but saw how very vigilant the workers were in his room when one child did start biting on a regular basis. Discreet, but vigilant.
Dd is currently on pinch-watch after being mean to some little pals yesterday and although I am mortified I am glad they are on her case to ensure this is nipped in the bud. You are right to be concerned that incidents are being missed and should take it up with management. But the odd bite/scratch/bop on the nose at this age is pretty normal, alas.
Let us know how you get on.

TokenBloke Fri 22-Apr-05 10:22:38

I think its just one person. Spoke to the lead carer in the room this morning who is going to pass my concerns onto management.

On the subject of staff ratios - presumably if some-one calls in sick then the nursery have to get cover? I think this is the main route of the problem - a new nursery opened up nearby recently and have poached staff. Our nursery seems to have struggled to have replaced people quickly enough.

Bethron Fri 22-Apr-05 10:32:09

Message withdrawn

Lizzylou Wed 27-Apr-05 12:11:05

At his last nursery my DS came back with a horrific bitemark that left a mark for a week, the staff weren't too bothered and said it was a stage that children go through, they too always seemed stretched. At his new place, anything like this gets recorded in the accident book and both mothers are informed (ie. Biter and Bitee). When I went to pick up DS yesterday there was a little boy sat on a naughty chair because he had been hitting and biting another boy, which I thought was good as is instilling right and wrong from an early age. DS is 13mths and boy was similar age, if my Ds had done something wrong I would have no problem in him having to sit on the chair...luckily he is an angel beyond reproach!!!!

TracyK Fri 20-May-05 09:06:19

I was just about to start a thread on this too. My ds is 14mo and has been bitten twice now - I think by the same girl.
The first was a really nasty bite on his face and took about 10 days to clear up and yesterday it was a bite on his arm.
I presume theres no point in kicking up a fuss - its all logged in an accident book and copies giving to biter and bitee.

Fran1 Fri 20-May-05 09:21:46

If you are concerned about staff:ratios report to Ofsted. You can do this anonymously if you like.

Too many nurseries are working under ratios or using too many unqualified staff and its got to be stopped.

To check, you could make light hearted conversation with staff, when you collect your child you could say is ......... in today? fill in gap with any staff that you don't see in the room, just to check that they havn't just popped out.

Yes biting is a phase, yes i had biters in my nursery and sometimes it would always seem to be one child they bit, cos they often played together. BUT it would never go unnoticed, we would speak to both parents sensitively and show them incident forms asking them to sign and then explain how we aim to stop the behaviour and what action plans we had in place. Normally this would include one-to-one work with the biter, especially at the times it tended to occur, this can be monitored through the incident forms and often happens at busy times of the day when staff are settin up the room etc So more often than not, the simple solution is to ensure the biter is kept busy at these times.
The nurseries curriculum should also be looked at to ensure it is an appropriate level to stimulate all children.

But please, if you think staff:ratios are not met, report to Ofsted, its illegal and not fair to the children.

Yes the nursery should cover sick leave, but many don't as agencies are expensive, and also the staff they send often may as well not be there. BUT if you have a manager and maybe a deputy manager sat in an office, they should be covering if their ratios are not up to scratch. I'm sure parents prefer their children to be looked after than paperwork to be done!

Hope this gets sorted for you.

TracyK Fri 20-May-05 09:34:34

what should the ratio be in a baby room? I think the children are there from a couple of months up to 18 mo ish.

Fran1 Fri 20-May-05 09:47:04

For under two's the ratio should be 1:3

2-3's it should be 1:4

and for over 3's it should be 1:8

And this should be the absolute minimum. All staff working with under 2's should be qualified to NNEB level, NVQ3- i think that rule still applies.

TracyK Fri 20-May-05 10:58:45

Well there are 15 coat pegs (don't know if they are all filled at the same time) and there are 7 girls working in the baby room - again I don't know if they all work full time.

Fran1 Fri 20-May-05 11:52:28

Do they not have a brochure which tells you how many children can be in the room at anyone time?

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