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Biting as a Behavior Problem


Topic Overview

It is normal for infants and young children to occasionally bite. But sometimes biting points to a more serious behavioral problem related to hostility and aggression. A child should be evaluated by a doctor if biting:

  • Is frequent and continues despite caregiver efforts to control it.
  • Occurs after 3 years of age.
  • Occurs in a variety of settings.
  • Injures other people.
  • Occurs out of general anger and/or aggression rather than out of frustration or desire for an object.
  • Occurs with other aggressive behaviors, such as hurting animals.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerSusan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical ReviewerThomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Last RevisedApril 8, 2010

eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise

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