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 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.
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.
possible abuse or neglect when:
The diaper rash does not get better after home
treatment and other causes have been ruled out.
The diaper rash
only gets better when the child or adult is taken out of the setting. For example, a
parent might suspect neglect if a child's diaper rash gets better or goes away
over a weekend but returns when the child is in day care during the
Explanations change for the cause of the rash or how it is
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.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.