Instances of physical child abuse are declining nationwide, but abused children may be more likely to suffer serious injuries, according to a study published in this month's issue of the journal Pediatrics.
Researchers at Yale used data compiled by the Kids' Inpatient Database (KID), which keeps track of hospital discharges of children with injuries from abuse and assault, to determine the incidence of serious abusive injuries between 1997 and 2009.
The majority of the injuries compiled by KID were due to fractures, skin or open wounds and traumatic brain injuries.
Overall, the incidence of children hospitalized for serious abusive injuries increased 4.9 percent from 6.1 per 100,000 children in 1997 to 6.4 per 100,000 in 2009.
Researchers recommend the further development of prevention programs that address serious physical violence against children.