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How to Stop Your Child From Biting

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How to Stop Biting continued...

Even with your best prevention efforts, biting incidents might still occur. When your child bites, firmly let your child know that this behavior is not acceptable by saying, "No. We don't bite!" Explain that biting hurts the other person. Then remove your child from the situation and give the child time to calm down.

You might have heard from other parents that if your child bites you, bite your child back. This isn't good advice. Children learn by imitation. If you bite your child, the child is going to get the impression that this behavior is acceptable and he or she will be more likely to do it again. The same goes for hitting a child for biting.

If you are unable to get your child to stop biting, the behavior could begin to have an impact on school and relationships. You or another adult might have to closely supervise interactions between your child and other kids. When biting becomes a habit or continues past age 4 or 5, it might stem from a more serious emotional problem. Talk to your child's health care provider, or enlist the help of a child psychologist or therapist.

Biting Injury Rx

The first thing to do for any biting injury is to wash the area with soap and water. Even little teeth can break the skin. If the bite is bleeding and the wound appears to be deep, call your child's doctor. The bite may need medical treatment, which could include antibiotics or a tetanus shot or both.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on August 06, 2012
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