Physical abuse is the second most common form of child maltreatment.  The definition of physical abuse may vary from state to state, but broadly speaking it is any physical act by a caregiver that results in a child being hurt or injured.  If you suspect that a child is being mistreated by their caregiver, notify the Department of Child and Family Services.  Many people fail to act because they are unsure, but a reasonable suspicion is grounds to make a report and the authorities can investigate and make a proper determination.  Others fail to report because they don’t feel it is their place, but if a child is being abused they need someone to stand up for them.  Child abuse has been linked to impaired physical emotional, and mental development.