image of boy with head in his hands

No matter your personal opinion on smacking a child, the law has the final say with regarding what punishment is accessible when it comes to hitting a child.

In the latest post from Broadbents Solicitors, we discuss the law surrounding smacking a child in more detail.

It is important to note that the law states that it is unlawful for a parent or carer to smack a child, excepts where this amounts to “reasonable force”. Factors including the circumstances, the child’s age and the nature of the smack, will determine whether reasonable force was used in each case. Of course, any punishment which results in wounding, actual bodily harm, grievous bodily harm or actual child cruelty will not be covered by the reasonable force defence and will not be tolerated by the law.

Can a Nursery or School Teacher Smack my Child?

Under no circumstances is it legal for teachers or nursery works to smack another person’s child.

When a parent privately employs a nanny or babysitter, they may provide them with permission to smack their child, within the remit of reasonable force.

What Does the NSPCC Say?

Although reasonable force may be used, some people believe that smacking your child encourages them to hit others. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children states that smacking may give a bad example, lead children to bully others, encourage defiant behaviour or even damage family relationships.

Actual Bodily Harm

Physical injuries may be described as actual bodily harm when they amount of no more than the following:

minor bruising;
reddening of the skin;
superficial cuts;
a ‘black’ eye.

Broadbents Solicitors

Here at Broadbents Solicitors, we have been advising on family and children’s law for many years. If you require legal advice, please contact our trusted team today.

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