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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
July 12, 2016

Fatal Head Trauma From Child Abuse

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2016;316(2):141. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.8382

New data show that fewer children are dying of head injuries inflicted during abuse, but researchers from the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control say more can be done to stop these preventable deaths.

The researchers analyzed injury codes in the National Vital Statistics System based on the CDC’s definition of abusive head trauma fatalities—those caused by inflicted blunt impact or violent shaking—among US children younger than 5 years from 1999 to 2014. They used the agency’s own definition to distinguish abuse-related head trauma deaths from injuries coded as assault-related traumatic brain injury due to neglectful supervision, gunshot or stab wounds, or penetrating trauma.