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What is physical neglect in children?

Physical neglect happens when a parent or caregiver does not provide a child with basic physical needs such as adequate food, shelter, clothing or healthcare. Lack of these things can cause serious injury or illness.
Physical neglect in children is when children do not have enough care to be healthy and enough supervision to be safe. To avoid physical neglect, adults that care for children must provide clothing, food and drink. A child also needs safe, healthy shelter, and adequate supervision. Examples of physical neglect include
  • an adult deserting a child or refusing to take custody of a child who is under his or her care
  • repeatedly leaving a child in another’s custody for days or weeks at a time
  • failing to provide enough healthy food and drink
  • failing to provide clothes that are appropriate to the weather
  • failing to ensure adequate personal hygiene for a child
  • not supervising a child appropriately
  • leaving the child with an inappropriate caregiver
  • exposing a child to unsafe/unsanitary environments or situations

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.