PEDIATRICS: Hospital Admissions for Abusive Head Trauma at Children’s Hospitals During COVID-19

Evidence that reports to child protective services1 and emergency department visits2 for maltreatment have decreased during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to concerns that children are being maltreated but not being brought to care. We hypothesized that in the case of potentially life-threatening abuse, such as abusive head trauma (AHT), it is more difficult for caregivers to forgo medical care. A standard approach to estimating the occurrence of AHT has been counting hospitalizations.3 Therefore, comparing AHT hospitalizations during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 with those in previous years would provide useful insight into how the pandemic is influencing this type of abuse.