Two children's organisations are calling for the introduction of a ban on slapping as a form of child discipline.
The ISPCC and the Children's Rights Alliance say more than three in five people believe it is currently illegal to slap a child.
The two groups have published a survey on attitudes to child discipline.
It shows that 73% of adults do not think slapping is an effective way of disciplining children.
The study also found that two in five parents have slapped a child, with 1% admitting to doing it often.
The survey reveals that three in five adults would support the introduction of a complete ban on corporal punishment.
ISPCC Director of Services Caroline O'Sullivan said there is overwhelming evidence that slapping is ineffective in changing a child's behaviour.