One in four people in England have worried about the welfare, neglect or abuse of a child, research shows.
But more than two fifths of those with concerns did not report their suspicions to professionals such as social workers, police officers, health workers or teachers, the survey suggests.
The findings were revealed as ministers and charities stepped up a campaign aiming to boost public confidence in reporting suspected child abuse and neglect.
A survey of 1,407 adults in England found 26% had worried about the welfare, neglect or abuse of a child.
Of those 42% did not report their suspicions to someone with child protection responsibilities, according to the analysis.
Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi (pictured) said: "Keeping children safe from harm is everyone's responsibility.
"It is important people voice their concerns, no matter how small they think they are.
"Any information passed on to professionals could be the difference between a child living a happy life, or facing the trauma of abuse or neglect."
Chief Social Worker Isabelle Trowler said: "The public may be nervous about reporting suspected child abuse or neglect, but people don't have to be absolutely certain about whether a child is being abused.
"If you have a feeling that something's not right, talk to the local children's social care team who will look into it."
Leading charities are backing the campaign to raise awareness of the signs of abuse and neglect.
Barnardo's chief executive Javed Khan said it is "vital" adults are vigilant and take action if they suspect a child may be being harmed.
Matthew Reed, chief executive at The Children's Society, said: "Spotting the signs that something is wrong isn't just a matter for professionals who work with the children, it's everyone's responsibility."
More information about the campaign can be seen at www.gov.uk/tacklechildabuse
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