Educational Medical and Sexual Neglect

Another type of neglect is educational neglect. All children are eager to learn, from the moment they are born. Early on, they need to learn language, which means that someone must talk to them and listen to them many hours every day. A 1-year-old who is not speaking, or a 2-year-old who is not using simple sentences, may be the victim of educational neglect. Preschoolers learn through active play and safe exploration; they are neglected if they sit alone or watch television for many hours each day instead of playing. Parents who do not send their school-age children to school, and schools that do not teach every child all the basic skills, are educationally neglectful.

Medical neglect is failure to meet a child's medical needs for protection against disease and for treatment. Basic immunizations against polio, tetanus, whooping cough, mumps, measles, and even chicken pox, as well as treatment for high fevers, painful earaches, broken bones, deep cuts, concussions, diarrhea, and so on are part of good care for every child. When they are not provided, parents, doctors, and communities are neglectful. One sign of child abuse is missed immunizations and untreated traumas, because medical neglect is often the first warning sign for later abuse.

Sexual neglect occurs when a child is not protected from sexual exploitation. Children not only need privacy, but they also need to develop respect for their own bodies. Before puberty, children need to know not only how to avoid sexual diseases and unwanted pregnancy, but also how to love themselves and another person. Loving mothers and fathers teach them this by example.

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