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Concern for child following biting incident

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We have had an incident at work which is causing a lot of concern and I am not sure which way to turn or where to go - a child's behaviour has been challenging since Christmas - nothing serious but regularly pushing the boundaries and when reprimanded showing now sign of any remorse and no respect to teaching staff.  Mum has been spoken to and said that he is challenging at home but said no more - even suggested that it was our fault because he was bored - that most definitely is not the case.  Anyway this week during a sports activity run by an external company the child bit his own arm, seen by an adult who immediately stopped him and asked what he was doing - he replied ' I wanted to get someone into trouble' - asked who? he replied with the name of the adult leading the sports activity. The bite was hard enough to leave a mark for some time.  All recorded and parent informed of full details. The next morning she came in and said that morning, she had caught him putting his fingers down his throat to make himself sick and regarding the self biting that he regularly bit his himself and then appears to not realise he was doing it. We had not been told about the biting before and it seemed that the fingers down the throat was a new thing. 

He is a very capable child, no SEN concerns and well within his developmental levels, moving to school in Sept - when his behaviour is good he is a joy and until this week nothing of great concern just frustrating that nothing seemed to work in preventing the unwanted behaviour. 

We have recorded everything on a Concern for Welfare form and recommended to Mum that she speaks to her Health Visitor or GP but I am really concerned that a child of 4 can bite himself with the intention of getting an adult into trouble - the consequences could have been catastrophic to both the person he was trying to blame and us.

Any advice would be gratefully received

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Could this also be classed as self harming.. there is a raised increase in this amongst younger children who may not fully realise what they are doing.https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/jan/23/children-young-three-self-harm-mental-health


Record everythi9ng, daily diary or just incidences so you have a timeline and some way of showing how often and what happens.. 

Any changes at home or in his life that could cause this - 

Think it does need watching closely and looking at getting mum see gp, with your documentation it may help.. but she may not want to if she has already kept it quiet or not told you about previous incidences at home.  

Sorry not much help , just relaying some thoughts  as you had no replies yet.. maybe others can help more.



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Hi hopeytg

I can understand your concern and agree with all that Inge has written

You are obviously already recording which is so important, could you have an informal chat with no names mentioned with someone from your Local Safeguarding team - ours are absolutely brilliant at responding to any concerns that we have


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Whilst looking for something else, I came across this email link that I received last year (almost exactly a year ago so hoping the link still works ok.) 

It is a resource pack for self harm from the Virtual College.

I know your little chap is very young, but I totally agree with Inge, and I do feel that the behaviour could be linked to early self-harming.


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just having a think about this ...why has his behaviour changed since Christmas ? what changed ? this could be an extreme way of gaining attention..what for?

Anyone new in his life...i assume you have no safeguarding concerns. Has anyone talked to him about this, when he is calm and quiet. It sounds like he is pretty bright and might be able to express what he is doing it for. I would focus on the why he's trying to hurt himself rather than the getting someone in to trouble. I have had a child self harm before. he had asd and would scratch his fingernails down his legs so hard that it would leave deep scratches. This became evident when he started transition to school. He was obviously quite distressed (his brother hated school and that was his experience)

Was there any reason why he wanted to get the coach in to trouble? had he been told off or asked to do something he didn't want to? or was it the end of the session and he didn't want it to stop. There will be a "why" ..trying to work that out will be the key to what to do next i guess:|

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