If you think a child is in immediate danger because of abuse or neglect, you should call 911.
If you suspect a child is being abused, report it immediately. Most states have a child abuse hotline. You may also use the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline (1-800-4-A-CHILD).
Physical injuries are treated as appropriate.
The parents will need counseling or an intervention of some type. In some cases, the child may be temporarily or permanently removed from the home to prevent further danger. Life-threatening abuse, or abuse resulting in permanent damage to the infant or child may result in legal action.
Counseling, including play therapy, is also necessary for abused children over age 2. The child will need help dealing with the fear and pain of abuse caused by adults, who should be trusted figures. Failing to get this help can lead to significant psychological problems, such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The appropriate government agency usually makes decisions about placing the child with an outside caregiver or returning the child to the home. This is typically done through the court system. The structure of these agencies varies from state to state.