Biting incidents can occur among young children during play or while fighting. Parents and childcare staff may be concerned about the potential risks of disease transmission associated with these bites; however, the risk of disease transmission is extremely low. The following is information to help childcare centres deal with bites:

Be prepared before a bite happens:

  • Ensure your facility has written policies for managing child and employee exposures to blood and body fluids, including bites
  • Ensure staff have received training for the proper care of bite wounds
  • Ensure first aid equipment is readily available
  • Ensure staff are immunized against Hepatitis B

If the skin is not broken:

  • Clean the wound with soap and water, apply a cold compress and sooth the child who was bitten.

If the skin is broken:

  • Observe both children to see if there was any blood involved
  • Allow the wound to bleed gently without squeezing
  • Clean carefully with soap and water and apply first aid as per your policy
  • Inform the parents of both children as soon as possible (preferably within two hours of the incident)
  • Advise both children’s parents to contact their health care provider regarding post-exposure immunization and advice
  • Provide Toronto Public Health’s fact sheet “Biting Incidents – Information for Parents” to the parents involved in the biting incident
  • If either child has hepatitis B, C or HIV, report the incident to Toronto Public Health (TPH) as soon as possible and ensure confidentiality of the children and parents is respected

 

Information Adapted from: A bite in the playroom: Managing human bites in child care settings, DL Moore, Canadian Pediatric Society, Paediatr Child Health 2008; 13 (6): 515-519, Feb 1 2014