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Ask Dr. Sue - Center Directors Express These Health Concerns About Biting and Bleach

by Susan S. Aronson, MD
January/February 1992
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/ask-dr.-sue-center-directors-express-these-health-concerns-about-biting-and-bleach/5008345/

Among the issues that are "hot topics" this year are biting and safe use of bleach to sanitize and disinfect surfaces in child care. During the past year or so, well-intended health professionals have given seemingly authoritative, but differing, opinions on both of these topics. The opinion offered in this column is consistent with the current view of the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Biting

Much has been made of the potential medical consequences of biting in child care. Research on biting in child care was reported by Solomon and Elardo from Iowa in the July-August 1991 issue of the Journal of Pediatric Health Care. The data show that nearly half of all children enrolled in child care are bitten. Toddlers are bitten more often than infants or preschool age children.

Toddlers are working on language acquisition and seeking independence. Oral expression of aggression through biting occurs when a frustrated child cannot express feelings in words. During infancy, children explore the world with their mouths. The conversion of the mouth from a sensory tool to a means of expressing pent up aggression is natural and predictable.

Bites are most frequent on the ...

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