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Old 08-30-2002, 12:30 PM
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Where's Dear Abby When You Need Her?

Dear Abby,
I have a question. Maybe someone out there can advice me. There is a small girl in my neighborhood that comes to visit my dd. She is 2 or maybe a young 3. The first time she came to visit about a month ago I thought she had the chicken pox. She had small sores all over her. I ask her sister and she told me it was from misquitos. The little girl came over again lastnight and she looks terrible. The sores are 10 times worse. She does not have a spot on her body that isn't red, scabbed, or raw. I asked the sister if her parent was treating it. Her sister said that her Mom was using calamine lotion. I have a feeling that it is being caused by fleas, not misquitos. If this was my child I would take her to the doctor. She looks bad. My question is-Is this child neglect? If it is neglect, what should I do?
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Old 08-30-2002, 06:00 PM
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Hoboswife--

I just read your post about the child with the sores all over her.
First, I would not let her near my child in that condition. You don't know what the real problem is, and second, the mother should NOT be using calamine lotion on open sores. It tells that right on the bottle. Thirdly, if it is even worse the last time, I think I would call the Child Welfare people, and explain to them what you have observed, and ask what advice they can give on the situation. Maybe the mother can't afford a dr.. but the child
definitely should be seen by one.
It sounds a little like neglect to me. How can anyone let a small child be outside all over the place in that shape?? If it is flea bites, maybe the home is unsanitary. It's ridiculous.
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Old 08-30-2002, 07:36 PM
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Thank you for your post Blondie. My husband went and talked to another neighbor who is related to the little one. He said that he has already talked to the Mom about the sores. It didn't seem to help. I live in a very small town and I don't want to cause any hard feelings with my neighbors but I just couldn't live with myself if that little girl became infected or something. I will go talk to the parents tommorrow and offer them some help and hope I don't step on thier toes. I don't know what else to do short of calling authorities. Wish me luck. Sure could use a support group.
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Old 08-30-2002, 07:55 PM
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Hoboswife--

Is this small child allowed to just roam all over with no adult supervision? I understand what you mean about its being a small town, and not wanting bad feelings, but is it possible for you to remain anonymous if you make a call to authorities? This is how a lot of kids become statistics when no one tries to do something regarding things seen on a child. I hope you are able to find a solution. Good luck. That poor baby, and she still is a baby.
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Old 08-31-2002, 07:57 PM
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Blondie,
Thanks for giving me some advice on this. It has really bothered me and I really needed some help with it.
The little girl does not run around alone. She is always with her sister who is 12 or so. I have talked with some relatives to the little girl. We have all agreed to treat the little one with soap and water and neosporin. It will do no good to talk with her parent. I heard that people have tried that. I don't want to see the child taken away from her parent, I would just like her sores healed up. There are several neighbors here who are willing and able to help the child. We are going to try this first before calling in authorities. We have all agreed to just soap and neosporin. That way she can't get to medicated. Hopefully this will work. If it doesn't ,then I will be forced to call authorities.
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Old 08-31-2002, 08:36 PM
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I would be afraid to touch someone else child even if it is just neosporin. Let the relative step in and do it. You probably can get in more trouble than the parents for doing nothing. Why not just talk to the parents yourself. If you are a neighbor don't be afraid to talk to them what can thay say to you. They are going to find out any way from their daughter that you are treating her sores.
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Old 08-31-2002, 08:40 PM
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hoboswife--

What you suggest to try first sounds fine. Do the girls look unkempt--dirty, stringy hair, dirty clothes, etc?? Do they have shoes?

The reason I ask is that when I was only 4 or so there was a family up the street from us with a couple small girls my age, and my mother said they appeared dirty all the time. Before she let me play with them she took them in the house, bathed them, washed their hair, and put one of my dresses on them. --They wore them constantly until they ended up looking the same in time. I remember when I was about 5 going to the front of their house to call the older girl, and what I saw through the window was a bed in the dining room with a big fat woman on it, and no furniture in the front room. One day on the way home from school, as I passed their house, a dining room chair came flying through the front window onto the porch. I think it was said the father was a fireman. Also, it was said there was a lot of drinking in the home. So, you know that sort of thing often all goes together, and it's the kids who pay for it.

Let me know how things work out, will you? I think it's terrible that little ones are neglected that way. When I see them in that condition, I'd love to take them home to do better for them if I could.
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Old 08-31-2002, 08:53 PM
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Sueanne--

You do have a good point. I thought of it myself after sending my post. Maybe just giving the child a nice bath, and washing her hair would help. From here it is impossible to know exactly what other conditions exist in the child's life such as any that would indicate neglect in other ways. I wonder how old the parents are, and how many children there are in the family. They can't be very old.
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Old 09-01-2002, 05:06 AM
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No BAths!!!!

Although I know your intentions are pure, you can not give a neighbor child a bath! Naked children in your home without their parents permission... just screams jail time and a law suit! Better idea, put her in the pool outside, you know, playing with your kids, maybe a sprinkler... but naked kids. God forbid. Negletful parents also are usually disfunctional in other ways as well. what starts off as innocent help, can lead to a death sentence.
My advice, help this child by doing what is right, and calling the authorities. You can do it anonymously, and they will check into it. Even if the children are being neglected, they may not be removed for the home. It has to be extreme for that. And if things are that bad, then maybe it is for the best. You did say there were relatives that cared. So Social Services will contact them first, if they decided to remove the child.
Please rememeber, as much as you want to help this child, you need to put yourself and you children before her. That is why we have Social Services.
I think you are wonderfully kind and caring. I also believe that it takes a community to raise a child. You are an asset to this world. God bless you!
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Old 09-01-2002, 08:05 AM
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BeliasMom--

You are correct, of course. Excuse my faux pas. I am afraid I was thinking of how things used to be-in "my day", when there weren't so many "sue-happy", and dangerous people regarding children. One of these posts I'll get it right. Can there be anything wrong with your suggestion of a "washing" (sprinkling) outdoors, and with the child's clothes on? I still think authorities should be contacted. That is awful to allow a small child to continue with those seemingly unattended open sores.
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