Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive, said:
"Neglect is the most common form of abuse in the UK and can wreak havoc on a child’s brain development, emotional well-being, ability to form relationships, and mental health.
"These children are more likely to suffer from depression and post-traumatic disorder, and even suicidal thoughts. For some, neglect can be fatal.
"These levels of neglect simply do not belong to the 21st century. Many of these lonely, frightened, children have to resort to desperate measures to survive after being left to fend for themselves and it shames our nation that these numbers are so high.
"It's an unacceptable situation which must be remedied. And we can only do that by looking out for vulnerable children and making sure they are given the right support to prevent longer term damage to the lives of those who have survived the horror of such neglect and cruelty."