Child Abuse: Signs of Neglect
Specific signs of neglect include:
- Hunger, inadequate growth or low weight from poor nutrition, or unmanaged obesity.
- Developmental delays.
- Lack of attention to personal cleanliness. The child may be very dirty, smelly, or unkempt.
- Inappropriate or lack of clothing for the season.
- Delay or failure to get needed health care.
- Not following health care recommendations.
- Pattern of tardiness or missing school.
Signs of a poor home environment that may indicate neglect include:
- Lack of shelter, heat, water, bedding, or clothing.
- Insufficient sleeping arrangements.
- Unsanitary conditions and housekeeping problems.
- Structural and fire hazards.
Behavior patterns that may indicate neglect include:
- Substance abuse. A child who is poorly supervised by parents may have access to drugs or alcohol and develop related behavioral problems.
- Poor social skills. Neglected children may not have appropriate role models to learn responsible behavior. They may also lack opportunities to interact with peers.
- Poor school performance, tardiness, or absenteeism. Neglected children may not have enough supervision to help them prepare for and get to school regularly.
Primary Medical Reviewer Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Current as ofDecember 7, 2012
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