There are a few reasons why bite marks can cause medical professionals and children’s services to suspect a parent of child abuse. Firstly, outside of main caregivers, it is very difficult for an adult to get close enough to inflict a bite on a child.
Secondly, bites inflicted on a child by an adult is usually done in uncontrolled rage. Thirdly, the old adage of , ‘if your child bites you, you must bite them back to teach them it hurts’ is still bandied about in some circles.
Every parent knows that most toddlers go through a biting stage. Children often bite each other in a nursery or school setting. Teachers usually know who the biting children are and also know when a child has fallen victim to this due to seeing the event or hearing a scream as bites usually hurt. It is common sense that a child who inflicts a bite on another child will leave a smaller bite imprint than that of an adult. Sometimes, siblings bite each other at home.
A parent may be accused of biting their child, when in fact; the injury could have been inflicted by a child at school or nursery, or by an older brother or sister.