Approximately one-third of patients attending Accident and Emergency departments are children and their differing needs are currently on the health care agenda. Nurses working in A & E will treat and care for children for whom a possibility of abuse or neglect may be raised. This article explores the concept of child protection and discusses the role of the nurse in relation to UK Government guidelines and legislation. These, in turn, inform local procedures and guidelines for practice. While the work of A & E departments is often crucial, most child protection work should take place in community child health settings.