Pediatric Neglect

Pediatric Neglect

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Summary

Neglect is when a parent or caregiver ignores a child’s physical or emotional needs, which results in harm or injury.

Expanded overview

Neglect is typically defined by a pattern of poor care that is marked by a lack of action by a parent or caregiver.

Neglect covers a wide range of situations, including not providing a child with proper supervision, food, housing, medications or necessary personal items. Neglect can impact a child at any age.

Symptoms

Emotional signs and physical symptoms of neglect often go hand in hand, but will differ between age groups and situations. Neglect can have immediate and lasting symptoms, including:

  • Abuses drugs or alcohol
  • Body odor or consistently dirty
  • Broken bones, bruises and other common injuries
  • Burns
  • Cognitive impairment (trouble remembering and learning new things)
  • Dehydration
  • Delayed motor development and physical skills, including rolling over, sitting, standing or walking
  • Delayed or stunted growth
  • Emotional and behavioral problems
  • Frequently misses school or is consistently late
  • Is noticeably home alone
  • Infestations (lice, bedbugs, scabies)
  • Lacks proper clothing for weather
  • Malnutrition (missing key vitamins and nutrients) and weight loss
  • Often falls asleep at school or public locations
  • States no one is ever home to help with homework
  • Steals or begs for money, food, clothes and personal items

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