Some parents may choose to punish their children by physically hitting them, either with the hand or with a cane, strap, or other implement. There is no evidence that such physical punishment has a positive effect on the child's behaviour. On the contrary, it is a form of assault from which adults are legally protected but children are not.
Traditionally, the physical punishment of children has been considered "reasonable chastisement" for the purpose of "lawful correction" of undesired behaviour. Article 3 of the Human Rights Convention prohibits degrading treatment or punishment of children by their parents or those acting for their parents.
A UK childminder was refused re-registration after resisting the professional guidelines which prohibit slapping, smacking or shaking of children in care.
A 1995 US survey of parents claimed that 65% had spanked their child. Half the parents agreed with the statement that it is sometimes necessary to discipline a child with 'a good hard spanking'.