Children and Biting

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Biting is fairly common behavior in young children, but when does it become a problem and what steps can be taken to stop it? Dr. Edward Hill explains in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Most children younger than age 3 bite someone else at least once. Human bites are the most common injury at day care centers. For young children, biting is not always intentional and rarely causes serious injury or poses any health risks.

Children may bite for a variety of reasons. Infants may bite because of mouth discomfort when they are teething. Older toddlers may bite out of frustration or anger at others. A child of any age who frequently bites other children may need special arrangements for day care.

The good news is biting in young children usually does not lead to behavioral problems at a later age. Children who persistently bite and show other aggressive behaviors may have other health or emotional issues.

Most children stop biting on their own. Children older than 3 who frequently bite other people may need to be seen by a health professional. This type of biting may be a sign that a child has problems expressing feelings or with self-control.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.