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Child Maltreatment - Neglect


Child neglect is a form of mistreatment that occurs when a person does not provide needed care to a child. Child neglect includes not giving a child basic needs, such as food, clothing, shelter, proper education, and guidance. Child neglect may also include abandoning or not providing supervision for the child. It can also include lack of medical care, such as immunizations, treatments, or giving the wrong amount of medicine.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.


The child may need to rest in bed and get more sleep. If he has trouble breathing or chest pain, call his healthcare providers right away.


A dietitian may talk to you, the child, family members, or other people who care for the child about feeding and nutrition. A special diet may be needed depending on his condition.


  • Antibiotics may be given to fight or prevent a bacterial infection.
  • Pain medicine may be given. Do not let the child wait until the pain is severe before you ask for more pain medicine. Tell healthcare providers if you think the child's pain continues or gets worse.
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements may be given to help improve the child's health and growth.
  • Immunizations may be given if the child had not had vaccinations.


  • Blood and urine tests may show signs of infection, malnutrition, or dehydration. The tests may also be used to get information about the child's overall health.
  • X-ray or CT scan pictures may show any broken or displaced bones, or internal injuries. The child may be given contrast liquid to help injuries show up better. Tell the healthcare provider if the child has ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.


  • Counseling may help the child feel less scared, depressed, or anxious. A counselor can help him talk about how he feels.
  • Wound care or surgery may be needed to treat injuries, wounds, or other health conditions.


If the child is placed in a foster home or care, it may be hard to be away from family or friends. Counseling may be emotionally difficult and painful. The child may have changes in behavior and school performance. He may develop other serious problems. These include running away from home, alcohol or drug use, depression, and problems with self-esteem, moods, and relationships. He may have thoughts of harming himself or others.


You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.