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Chapter: Paediatrics: Child protection

Paediatrics: Child protection

Child protection: The decisive action taken to safeguard children from harm.

Child protection




Child protection 

The decisive action taken to safeguard children from harm.


Child abuse


This is defined as either:

   Deliberate infliction of harm to a child.


   Failing to prevent harm to a child.


Children may be abused in the family home, in an institutional setting, or, occasionally, by a stranger. Most young people who are abused know their abuser. It is estimated that 1–2 children die each week due to abuse.

Child abuse may be categorized as:











This is defined as a persistent failure to meet a child’s basic physical or psy-chological needs that is likely to result in serious impairment of the child’s health and development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born it may involve:

   Failing to provide adequate food.


   Failing to protect from physical harm or danger.


   Failure to access appropriate medical care or treatment.


   Failure to ensure adequate supervision




   Failure to thrive.


   Consistently unkempt and dirty appearance.


   Repeated failure by carers to prevent accidental injury.


   Lack of social responsiveness and/or developmental delay when there are other concerns about the environment at home.

Medical advice is not sought, which compromises the health of the child, including if they are in ongoing pain.


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