Children in child care centres sometimes bite. Most bites do not break the skin and are harmless. School boards may have protocols for managing human bites in schools.
We know from surveys of child care centres that most bites happen in September, at the beginning of the child care year. Toddlers (ages 13 – 24 months) are bitten most often, usually on the arms or face. Only one bite in 50 breaks the skin.
The routine vaccination of infants and children against hepatitis B virus means that the risk of infection with hepatitis B from a bite is very low.
If a bite breaks the skin, the hepatitis B virus may pass from one child to another. The hepatitis B virus does not pass through normal, unbroken skin.
It is very unlikely that HIV will be transmitted through a bite in a child care centre or school, even when the skin is broken. Treating a child with anti-HIV drugs is not usually recommended.
If your child's vaccinations are not up to date, talk with your doctor or Public Health Nurse about tetanus and hepatitis B shots.
Print this page as featured in the guide book, Sneezes & Diseases: A Resource Book for Caregivers & Parents.