Signs that biting is a behavioral problem

It is normal for infants and young children to occasionally bite. However, sometimes biting indicates a more serious behavioral problem related to hostility and aggression. A child should be evaluated by a health professional 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.

Last Updated: April 17, 2008

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