Diseases and Conditions
Any intentional harm or mistreatment to a child under 18 years old is considered child abuse. Child abuse takes many forms, which often occur at the same time.
- Physical abuse. Physical child abuse occurs when a child is purposely physically injured or put at risk of harm by another person.
- Sexual abuse. Sexual child abuse is any sexual activity with a child, such as fondling, oral-genital contact, intercourse or exposure to child pornography.
- Emotional abuse. Emotional child abuse means injuring a child's self-esteem or emotional well-being. It includes verbal and emotional assault — such as continually belittling or berating a child — as well as isolating, ignoring or rejecting a child.
- Medical abuse. When someone purposely makes a child sick, requiring medical attention, it puts the child in serious danger of injury and unnecessary medical care. This may be due to a mental disorder called factitious disorder imposed on another, such as a parent harming a child.
- Neglect. Child neglect is failure to provide adequate food, shelter, affection, supervision, education or medical care.
In many cases, child abuse is done by someone the child knows and trusts — often a parent or other relative. If you suspect child abuse, report the abuse to the proper authorities.