View Full Version : Safeguarding(?) issue - urgent help needed please

30-09-2011, 02:09 PM
One of my mindees (20 mths) bit another mindee last week. Its a standard phase etc etc, but parents of 'bitee' very upset (took photos to show me as under clothes!!! - cue a very stressful few days for me wondering why photos etc!). When I spoke to biter's parents, he's been biting for months (I think almost a year from something they said!) at home, but only ever occasionally and only biting mum, so they didn't think it was an issue.

I have put in place a management plan (used in the past for similar incidents of scratching etc), where if I need to leave the room and can't take biter with me then they'll need to go in the playpen (with lots of toys etc) as previous bite happened when I was out of room and I need to safeguard the other children and try to prevent any further incidents. Any bites will result it short time out (as this is used at home in the situation), plus being asked to cuddle to say sorry.

But... biter's mum has contacted me to say she's not happy with this the playpen being used as biter will be upset and won't understand why he can't play with the others.

I've said I have a duty of care to safeguard the other children and until we know if its a phase or one-off this'll need to happen. If no further incidents for a few weeks it can be reviewed.

Is this reasonable? I feel I'd rather biter was frustrated by being 'trapped' for 5 mins than that other mindee (and parents) are in tears because another bite has happened.

I've texted mum my reply (in response to hers) but said we'll discuss further tonight if she'd like, so any quick responses would be appreciated.

30-09-2011, 02:33 PM
Think that's all you can do to be honest anyway you should be able to put a child this age in a playpen if needs be .. I have three under 2 some days and give them each a turn in there to give each other space and if I have to leave the room ..
Only other thing I could suggest is to put the bitee in... That way his parents will be happy he is being protected ... But I guess that depends if there are any others you need to protect too! Really parents should have mentioned it but yes it's a standard phase .. My smallest did this about age 2 and a half and nothing I did made any difference she didn't really understand and did grow out of it!

All you can do is sympathise with biters parents assure them it will only be for a new minutes and explain that bitee parents are upset and you need to be seen to be handling it and doing something .. Assure then you are not picking on him and would do the same for any child it's your policy .. Maybe they will try to see it from bitees point of view ! Good luck!

30-09-2011, 02:34 PM
Ps maybe if you are preparing lunch you could pop him in a High chair beside you with toys or a small snack

30-09-2011, 02:52 PM
Thanks. Interesting you do a rotation of it to give others some space - I might try doing that. :)

Hopefully parents will see sense by pick-up time!

30-09-2011, 03:00 PM
I think thats completely reasonable, you have to ensure the other children are safe and a bite could do a lot of damage. Ask the parents if they have any suggestions and if they come up with something reasonable that works for you and keeps the others safe then go with it. You cant say you will put the other child inthe playpen, for one thing it wouldnt work if there were 2 other children and if biters parents are complaining its unfair then its even less fair on the other child.

30-09-2011, 05:06 PM
I think you'll find that's what we all do with biters! I agree, it's a good idea to ask mum if she could suggest an alternative - bet she can't! Make it clear to mum that this will rarely happen as you are with them for 99.9% of the time, it is only for a short moment if the need arises - he is not going to be left in there for hours! At 20 months he will quickly be disrtracted and get over the fact that he's not playing with the others. You could say that it will also prevent the other child from biting him! Reassure her that if he is engrossed in an activity and the other child is not, you would use your common sense and put the other child in there. This is the best solution for all as you wouldn't want any ill feeling towards her or her son from the other family. Poor you, I HATE biting situations. x

30-09-2011, 05:07 PM
gigglinggoblin - thats what I said to the parents! Usually the only other child now would be my DS - who is more able to fight off biter and tell me whats happened (although shouldn't have to).

Thanks for the input - I suddenly had a panic that it was unreasonable, but safety has to come first right?!

The Juggler
30-09-2011, 05:16 PM
if mum is really against it, why not take him with you wherever you go. If it's the loo, get him to stand outside and talk to him :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

30-09-2011, 06:53 PM
I was told playpens werent allowed to be used is this not correct?

30-09-2011, 07:14 PM
I was told playpens werent allowed to be used is this not correct?

Really? Who told you this?

30-09-2011, 09:28 PM
I often use a playpen for a few seconds as I have two non-walkers and if I have to get them out of the car one at a time, the most sensible thing to do seems to me to put the first one in the playpen while I get the second one in, or indeed vice versa, putting one in the playpen while I strap one in the car, then fetch the second out. Otherwise though, I can't say I'd leave either of them in a different room to me, especially not together, because if they weren't biting, scratching or poking each other, they could easily be knocking each other over or throwing or dropping heavy toys on each other. They sit up to the table in highchairs while I'm doing things in the kitchen/diner and they sit in the hall outside the loo with the door open (too much information I know!) if I have to visit - though I usually manage to wait to go while they're asleep!

30-09-2011, 10:59 PM
Minstrel - I was told that too, by someone in the council's CMing team (almost all of them have now lost their jobs in the reshuffle to save money! I'm not sure they did any work, but still very sad for them), but I used my common sense and sometimes use the one I had for my DS anyway. It has a zipped door and we often use it as a ballpit or den, sometimes (when DS was younger I'd leave him there while I nipped to get the washing in etc. Now occasionally I leave a mindee in it (as with the biting) for their own or another's protection. I actually think it can be more fun with loads of toys in there than being taken to another room... I once had a little one in there whilst I hoovered up some crumbs. The other 2 woke up from their naps and all ended up wanting to be lifted in there! lol - the grass is always greener!

At the end of the day you just need to be able to justify your choices to Ofsted. If putting a child in a playpen for a few minutes keeps them safe then it has to be a good thing - right?

Juggler - sadly he's not that kind of child! He's quick, strong and always on the go. Not the kind of child to stand and 'talk' (babble) to you anywhere.

Thanks again for all the advice - I had a real wibble about it earlier, luckily it was dad who picked up and he's much calmer than mum about it all and never mentioned it. :)

The Juggler
01-10-2011, 08:22 AM
maybe just mum needs reassuring that it is ONLY for brief moments where you have to pop to loo rather than you leaving him in there to play? she maybe thinks he's in there longer than he needs to be - you know how mum's can worry and built pictures of us at home which are not true.

I would def. use a travel cot if need be.