Signs of Child Neglect and What to Do When You See Them

Signs of Child Neglect and What to Do When You See Them

Signs of Child Neglect and What to Do When You See Them

Adults are responsible for taking care of children and protecting their innocence. As such, it is important to report any suspicion of child abuse as soon as possible. This article will discuss the telltale signs of child neglect and what to do when you see them. Little ones count on adults to keep them safe from harm.


One telling sign of child neglect is malnutrition. Kids need a well-balanced diet to foster their growth and development. If you notice that a child is too skinny for their age, that’s a good indication that you should look further into the situation. Another thing to keep an eye out for is how quickly the child eats in different environments. School professionals should take note of any student that is ravenous when they enter the cafeteria. Children who receive little food at home often try to balance this out by eating a lot at school, where they may receive free meals. Parents who have gone through a divorce should be mindful of imbalanced eating habits, as well. If your child comes home from their other parents’ house and cannot stop eating, this could indicate that they did not receive adequate food while they were there.

Poor Hygiene

Parents and caretakers typically have to tell children when to bathe or brush their teeth. If you come across a child with very bad hygiene, this could mean they aren’t getting enough attention at home. Kids need direction from older adults. If they do not receive the proper instructions, their physical well-being can suffer. Again, divorced parents and school officials should keep an eye out for these repeated practices. If your little one is always coming home from your ex’s place with poor hygiene, they might not be receiving the care they deserve.

Ripped Clothing or Lack of Supplies

Caretakers are also responsible for providing for children. Kids are not capable of obtaining their own resources. Thus, adults should provide for them financially to ensure they have everything they need. Teachers should take note of any child they see that has ripped clothing or inadequate supplies. Poor attendance is also another indication that a child may be suffering from neglect at home. If the parents are divorced, and the problems seem to occur when the child is with one parent, the other parent should be informed.

Now that you know some of the signs of child neglect, it is vital to explain what to do when you notice them. You should report any suspicion of neglect to the authorities or Child Protective Services within 48 hours of the alleged abuse. In Washington State, law enforcement will begin an investigation against the perpetrator. On the other hand, CPS will look into the child’s home life and determine if the child’s removal from the home would be beneficial. If you suspect your former spouse is neglecting your child, please contact LaCoste Family Law today. Our team knows the regulations regarding child neglect in Washington State. We can help you figure out what route is best for you.