The incidence of substantiated cases of serious child abuse showed a 55% decrease from 1992 to 2009, according to national data from US child protective service agencies. However, there are concerns that some of the apparent decline may be the result of changes in reporting of cases to agencies.
The number of children hospitalized because of abuse-related injuries actually increased slightly in a new study, “Incidence of Serious Injuries Due to Physical Abuse in the United States: 1997 to 2009,” that was published online in Pediatrics. The study authors examined hospital discharge data from the Kid’s Inpatient Database from 1997 to 2009 to examine trends in serious injuries related to child abuse. Over those 12 years, the incidence of serious injuries resulting from child abuse increased by 4.9%. The authors concluded that the results highlight the need to develop and fund effective prevention programs.