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    Child Abuse: Signs of Neglect - Topic Overview

    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.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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