What steps should be taken if a child bites another child while in child care?
My child was bitten by another child while at day care the other day. Was the child care facility supposed to provide me with an incident report? Do they also have to report the incident to licensing?
If the child care staff needed to administer first aid, even for a minor injury from the bite, they should have notified you about the biting incident when you picked up your child (and any time they administer first aid they also need to document that in your child’s record at the facility).
Child care facilities are required to report to the parent and to Licensing “[a]ny unusual incident…that threatens the physical or emotional health or safety of any child” or “[a]ny suspected physical or psychological abuse of any child.” It does not sound like the bite would be considered either of these.
So, the short answer is they only needed to notify you if they administered first aid because of the bite.
- The requirement that child care facilities notify parents and document in a child’s record when they need to administer first aid, even because of minor injury, comes from California Code of Regulations section 101226 (a)(2): “In the case of less serious injuries including, but not limited to, minor cuts, scratches and bites from other children requiring assessment and/or administration of first aid by staff, the licensee shall document the injury in the child’s record and notify the child’s authorized representative of the nature of the injury when the child is picked up from the center.”
- The requirement that child care facilities report unusual incidents or suspected abuse to Licensing (by telephone or fax within the Licensing’s next working day, and in a written report within seven days) comes from California Code of Regulations, tit. 22, §§ 101212 (d)(1)(C)&(D): must report “[a]ny unusual incident…that threatens the physical or emotional health or safety of any child” and “[a]ny suspected physical or psychological abuse of any child.”
The requirement that they must report such incidents or suspected abuse to the authorized representative or parent of the child who is allegedly threatened or abused comes from California Code of Regulations tit. 22, § 101212 (f).)
- To understand why some toddlers bite and practical suggestions to address biting, see “No Bites” by BANANAS, Inc.
- Licensing has a Child Care Advocate Program whose function is to provide information to the public and parents on child care licensing and assist in the coordination of complaints and concerns on behalf of children in child care
This question and answer is intended to provide general information about the topic covered. It is made available with the understanding that the Child Care Law Center is not engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice. We believe it is current as of October 2014 but the law changes often. If you need legal advice, you should consult an attorney who can specifically advise or represent you.