Gloves to prevent biting

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The challenge

(posted by Paula Allchin)

The following is a request to the Tyne panel who would appreciate any ideas please.

Alistair Moat

 Thanks for speaking to me on the phone yesterday.  I am on OT working in a special school, and I have been looking for a solution to a problem a child is having with biting his hand.  He persistently bites his hand, maybe to try and calm down, maybe sometimes for sensory stimulation, and maybe now due to habit.  He does have safe chewy toys that staff and parents redirect him to, but his biting behaviour is persistent and has lead to broken skin, and infections in the past.

 Parents are trying numerous different gloves, all of which get torn, and damaged quickly.  Their priority is to protect the hand and not provide stimulation, in fact, his teacher would rather discourage stimulation from biting his hand. 

The brief has changed slightly since then too, as we are no longer looking for the glove to provide interest, simply, protection, non-toxicity, and comfort.  A stretchy tight fit would be preferable from a sensory calming point of view, but if this is not possible, protection is the priority. 

Compression gloves such as the one below, are on the market but this is to provide sensory input rather than withstand biting/chewing, these look very thin material, and his biting is very forceful.—deep-pressure—sold-as-single-2087-p.asp

 Neoprene gloves exist, such as the one below, for support for joint conditions, which may be more hard-wearing, but ideally I am looking for non-toxic fabric due to persistent mouthing/chewing/tearing/biting.

 I think a fingerless style such as this would be fine as it is the back of the hand that he targets.

There are also gloves available that provide sensory stimulation through spiky, rubbery materials, none of which are hard wearing or appropriate for this issue.

I wonder if you have any ideas?I would be grateful for any feedback, I have exhaustively searched the market and cannot find anything appropriate.



12 thoughts on "Gloves to prevent biting"

  1. Jack rae says:

    Have you considered the woven stainless steel safety gloves as used by butchers.

    Alternatively kevlar gloves and pretty indestructable and might better suit the need

    1. Ben De Candole says:

      Or just sew a patch of that steel chainmail onto the back of a fingerless glove. 4″ square should do it.

      It would also not be a pleasant biting sensation, and would hence discourage the behavior.

  2. John Stoton says:

    I know not about the flavor or toxicity but there are loads of tough industrial gloves about – 18 pages in the catalogue at
    Example Ansell’s Hycron Nitrile – 3 times more durable than leather
    Showa’s Kevlar – perfect for glass handling – that should keep his teeth out!

  3. Robert Monk says:

    Would leather gardening gloves be non-toxic yet robust enough?

  4. Mike Nevett says:

    Is it too obvious to suggest putting a bitter tasting (but harmless) cream on his hands? Mike N.

  5. Peter Parry says:

    As Jack suggests Kevlar may be the best approach. However most protective gloves are not puncture resistant and more importantly protect the palm but not the back of the hand. “Puncture resistant” refers to the ability to stop things like needles but if the back of the hand has no protection (as with most gloves) it isn’t a lot of use in this application. Those gloves with all round protection such as tend to be expensive. has a range of Kevlar and puncture resistant gloves and useful guidance on measuring hand size. They also show the area of the glove protected. Aramid and Kevlar are non-toxic. Might be worth contacting them. These gloves should withstand biting for a long time.

    Alternatively a good needleworker should be able to sew a protective plastic pad onto the back of lightweight semi-disposable gloves such as the Contour Avenger ( (very cheap in Costco).

  6. John Cullen says:

    Maybe a pair of these cut resistant gloves would work

    Could be combined with a thinner ‘liner’ pair with a thin stainless steel plate stitched to the top of the liner to prevent tooth pressure piercing the inner liner.

    of course there is nothing to prevent him from just taking the gloves off so a secure wristband would presumably be needed.

  7. Lizelle Keyser says:

    I’ve come across these in the USA:
    Can’t find anything though in the UK.

  8. Catherine Coleman says:

    Hi Paula,

    I am an OT in hand therapy and have just been referred a patient with this issue, who I have found is booked into my diary tomorrow! He is 7 years old and from the referral the chewing is focussed around the fingers.

    Did you find a solution to this issue? Any advice very gratefully received!

  9. John Cullen says:

    Hi Catherine

    Further to my earlier comment, I found these child sized versions of cut resistant gloves, which could be a low cost starting point worth evaluation. Others have suggested Kevlar liners or gloves which would further strengthen against cutting as kevlar fibres are extremely difficult to cut, even with scissors (not aware of child sized kevlar gloves though and further research would be required).

    Ofcourse these would probably not reduce bite crush/pressure injury but the material might be distasteful to chew and it might be possible to adapt them

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