NSPCC HelplineThe NSPCC has called on adults to remain vigilant and keep children safe from neglect over Christmas after revealing figures that showed the charity supported more than 17,000 adults who were worried about a child being neglected during the past year.

While the NSPCC helpline experienced a 28% increase this year in the number of people coming forward about child neglect, helpline lead John Cameron warns that "the lead up to Christmas can be a time when some children face particular risk".

“We know that neglect can have severe long lasting consequences for children – which is why it is so encouraging that more people are choosing to speak up and to contact our helpline about this," he said.

“The earlier neglect is caught the easier it is to stop and in most cases families can be supported to turn around their problems and provide children with the care they need. The lead up to Christmas can be a time when some children face particular risk, partly because they will be out of sight of adults, such as teachers who would normally notice the signs of neglect.

"The holidays can also be a time when family pressures are heightened meaning children are at more risk of neglect and abuse – so we must make sure they get the protection they need at Christmas too."

This year the NSPCC informed the police and children’s services about 24,041 children who are potentially at risk of being neglected.

Neglect was the main reason that people contacted the NSPCC helpline last year accounting for 31% of all contacts.

For more information or to raise concerns visit: www.nspcc.org.uk/helpline