What does Child Neglect mean?
Child neglect is the action of intentionally failing to provide food, water, shelter, clothing, medical care, or other necessities to a child. Other types of child abuse can include threatening a child with physical harm, ignoring them, insulting them and not providing a child with a safe environment and adult emotional support. There are several risk factors for abuse including family stress, mental illness and substance abuse. Child neglect can also have a negative impact on the child. Neglected children are found to have increased difficulties in school, higher incidence of eating disorders, rebellious behaviors, sleep problems, and emotional issues including depression and anxiety. The long-term health of a child who has been neglected will depend on the severity of the abuse, the duration of the abuse and whether or not they received proper treatment.
Child abuse and child neglect are serious societal issues. If you suspect a child is being neglected the neglect should be reported to the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD). Under U.S. laws neglect must be reported by health care workers, school employees, and child care professionals. There are also a variety of support groups available for parents who need help.