FORT WALTON BEACH — A mother and father were arrested for cruelty toward their 5-year-old son after the father hit the boy in the face, causing bruising, and the mother then left him in the care of his father for a full day instead of reporting it to authorities.

According an arrest report from the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, on Nov. 2 the young child told two staff members at Destin Elementary School that his father slapped him in the face. His mother then arrived at the school, having learned of the incident earlier, and observed her son’s injury and took photos of his face before checking the child out of school. She told Destin Elementary officials her son had a dentist appointment she had forgotten about.

The mother then took the child back to his father, with whom he remained for the majority of the day, according to her arrest report. She did not report the offense or seek medical attention for her son, authorities said.

School staff members immediately called the Department of Children and Families, who sent investigators to interview the child that day. Investigators observed bruising on the child’s face “in different colors and contrasts” in the shape of an “obvious handprint.”

The boy initially told the investigators that he had fallen off his bunk bed and hit his face. After a medical examination, however, the child revealed he had been told to lie about his injury or his father would go to jail.

The father admitted to hitting his son in an interview with authorities, saying he “did not mean to hurt him.” He said the child was screaming outside and he pulled him inside the house and hit him with an open hand “to get his attention.” He said he didn’t realize he had hurt his son.

Both parents were arrested. The 28-year-old mother was charged with child neglect and the 29-year-old father was charged with child abuse, both felonies. They were both released from jail and are awaiting hearings.

Note: The Daily News is not disclosing the names of the parents due to the nature of the abuse and age of the child.