Legal Dictionary

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Endangering the Welfare of a Child

Endangering the welfare of a child is the subjection of minor children to inappropriate or dangerous conditions. Endangering the welfare of a child is an indirect form of child abuse and is aggressively prosecuted in most states. It is generally charged when a parent/guardian/caretaker exposes a child to a dangerous or inappropriate situation/environment. For example, endangering the welfare of a child or child endangerment might be charged where a parent drives their infant around in a car without a car seat; where the parent is driving a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and the child is in the back seat; where the parent allows the child to be exposed to pornography or criminal activity; and even where the parent fails to obtain appropriate medical treatment for the child. Endangering the welfare of a child is also referred to as “Child Endangerment.”