In Abuse

What Is Child Neglect?

What is Child Neglect? Child neglect occurs when a child is not properly cared for. The child will experience a lack of nutrition, medical attention, educational needs, supervision, emotional and housing needs, and basic day to day necessities. Millions of cases of child neglect goes unreported each year. Parents, caregivers and guardian have the responsibility of providing stability and financial substances for the child in their care. When the child’s basic needs are not met, neglect occurs, because the adult refuses to acknowledge, or refuses to intentionally meet the need of the child. There are signs of neglect that are recognizable.

Signs of Physical Neglect

Physical neglect is not difficult to see, nor prove. A child that is neglected physically may hang out in the streets all night, because there is no adult supervision. The child may also miss a lot of school, and most often get into trouble at school. The parent is never home, never attends a meeting, and really provide no supervision, or shows no interest in the child physical well being.

Child abandonment, expulsion from home, lack of developmental growth, untreated illnesses, physical bruises on the body. Over a period of time child neglect can lead to low self esteem. Child neglect puts a child’s health and life at risk. Not providing adequate shelter, and provisions hinders a child’s physical and mental growth.

Another sign of physical neglect is seen in the appearance of the child. A child wearing tight fitting, outdated and out of season clothing, is a sign of physical neglect. The child may come to school with uncombed hair, smelly, and wearing dirty clothing. The child may also wear the same clothing for days. The child may be hungry a lot, and may be seen asking children for their foods, or caught eating out of the trash bin.

Signs of Educational Neglect

Many caregivers fail their child in this area. The child is constantly acting out at school, or is always disrupting the class. The parent never comes to the school, never meets with the teacher, and shows little or no interest in their child’s educational development. A child who suffers from educational neglect may not get the best education, if the child is home schooled. The caregiver may also fail to provide the child with educational resources like special needs training.

Lack of interest in a child’s educational development, can lead to the child dropping out of school. A child with special needs, need emotional, physical, and psychological support. Neglect in this area occurs when the caregiver does not take the child to see the appropriate schools, or attend any of the meetings the school administer or teacher deems to be necessary for the progressive development of the child’s education.

Emotional and Psychological Neglect

Emotional neglect occurs when the caregiver allows the child to use drugs or alcohol, and refuse to provide substance abuse help. This may lead to the caregiver belittling the child, and withholding any type of affection. Arguing, fighting, and using obscene and profane language in the presence of the child is also emotional and psychological neglect. Adults that exhibit these types of behaviors are guilty of emotional and psychological maltreatment of a child:

Failing to acknowledge the child’s existence, or presence. Caregivers can get upset when a child acts inappropriately, but failing to protect a child from danger, and failing to acknowledge the child at all is emotional neglect.

Verbally threatening, belittling, and verbal assaulting a child is considered child neglect. Regardless of what someone say, “words really do hurt.” Name calling, calling a child stupid and dumb, and talking bad about a child in front of others is also child neglect.

Terrorizing a child, threatening a child with extreme punishment, creating an atmosphere of terror, or imparting fear in a child is not acceptable behavior. A child should not be threatened with physical harm.

Exploiting and corrupting and encouraging a child to participate in illegal, and destructive behaviors is a form of psychological neglect. Too many exposures to bad experiences can alter a child’s development, and cause the child to become antisocial.

Signs of Medical Neglect

Medical neglect happens when a caregiver refuses to provide health care, or make health care available, for the child in their care. Refusal of health care services can lead a child to become emotionally distraught, physically bruised, disfigured, or near death. According to information released by NCANDS,a national child abuse center, approximately 17,637 children living in the U.S. were victims of medical neglect in 2005.

The concern warranted national attention, as caregivers refuse to provide medical care for children in an emergency situation. Children with an acute illness, and disability, and children with chronic diseases that requires hospitalization were also at risk. Even if the illness or injury is non life threatening, caregivers should not neglect the health of a child that is in their care.

Even schools and daycare centers have a moral, ethical and legal obligation to seek medical care for a child that becomes ill, or receive injuries while the child is in their care.


Child neglect is the cause of death for many children in the United States and in other countries. The responsibility of caring for children falls in the hands of caregivers. However, professionals, doctors, teachers, lawyers, judges and other adults are mandated to report any instance or suspicion of child neglect.

There are agencies that are in place, specifically for the betterment of children. These agencies will follow up on any calls regardless child neglect, and remove the child from the home. The caregiver might go to jail if charges are filed. In some cases, the authorities will work with the caregiver to provide the child with proper medical care, food, and other provisions the child was deprived of.

Child neglect is a world wide problem. When everyone do their part, and report child neglect, and the problem can be greatly reduced or completely eliminated. It only works if everyone participates. One call can make a difference to a child in need.

Related Posts

Comment Here

Leave a Reply

Send Us Message


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>