Why is Child Neglect harmful to children?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that the most basic definition of child neglect involves not paying attention to the needs of children.  This takes on so many levels and so many dimensions that it becomes self evident as to why neglect is so harmful to children.  While it is not as overt as physical or emotional abuse, it is akin to hurting children because neglect involves the direct failure to pay attention to a child's developmental needs.  This can result in physical, emotional, or cognitive needs.  It is for this reason that neglect can be so disastrous to children.  Neglect can take on so many forms and within each, the results can remain with children for long term implications and complications that the propensity for harm almost becomes self- evident.  In this, I believe that one can make the case that neglect can be so bad that death and suffering can be seen as results.  As such, the case for child neglect being harmful to children is seen in the form of what results as a part of it.  Even considering that a child yearns for attention or protection and this is not given under conditions of neglect can merely draw out how harmful neglect is for children.