Monday, May 08, 2006

Clinic Notes: Biting in Children

Recently my daughter called to tell me that my 14 month-old granddaughter had just bitten another child. Children age 13-24 months are bitten most often in day care centers and usually the biting is most likely to occur at the beginning of the school year. The arms and face of the child are the areas most frequently bitten, but only one bite in fifty actually breaks the skin. Occasionally, children get kicked out of day care for biting other children and staff.
More serious biting of others or one’s self is often seen in children with neuropsychological disorders like autism, Fragile X Syndrome, and mental retardation. In rare neuropsychological disorders, like Lesch-Nyham syndrome, children compulsively bite their lips, fingers and arms, and bite others as well. A variety of extreme measures, including teeth extraction have been used to try to control biting in this disorder. Physical restraints are te only effective remedy, and many Lesch-Nyham patients will ask to be placed in restraints when they feel a biting episode coming on.
See Case History # 6 in Little Bubba's Not Ready for Nashville Yet at


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