Rashes in the diaper area are common. Prevention and home treatment measures are generally all that are needed to prevent and treat a diaper rash.
Diaper rash may be a sign of neglect. Without home treatment, the rash will not go away and may get worse. Since children and vulnerable adults can't treat a diaper rash themselves, it is the caregiver's responsibility to treat a diaper rash. Ask your day care provider to keep a record of each diaper change if you think that the diaper is not being changed often enough.
Diaper rash may also be a sign of abuse. A caregiver may purposely not treat a diaper rash because of anger directed at a child or vulnerable adult.
Suspect possible abuse or neglect when:
You may feel uneasy if your doctor brings up the issue of abuse. Doctors have a professional duty and legal obligation to check for the possibility of abuse. It is important to consider this possibility, especially if there were no witnesses to an injury.
If you suspect abuse, seek help. You can call the local child or adult protective agency, police, or clergy or a health professional such as a doctor, nurse, or counselor.
If you think your child has been abused, it is your responsibility to call your doctor or contact the National Child Abuse Hotline and Referral Service at 1-800-422-4453. Adults need to protect young children, because they cannot protect themselves.
If you are having trouble controlling your anger with a child or vulnerable adult in your care, resources for help are available.
Last Revised: February 21, 2012
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