New research was presented at AAP 2020, the 2020 American Academy of Pediatrics Virtual National Conference & Exhibition, from October 2-5. The features below highlight some of the studies emerging from the conference that focused on emergency medicine. Black children were overrepresented in suspected child abuse reporting from 2010-2014, despite having less severe injuries when compared with white children, according to a review of more than 4,000 suspected child abuse victims reported to the National Trauma Data Bank. During the study period, victims classified as black represented 32.3% of cases while accounting for 13% of the US population, whereas white children—who were underrepresented—accounted for 51.2% of reports but comprising approximately 70% of the US population. Serious or severe injury severity scores were reported in 22% or white children, compared with 11% of black children, and in-hospital mortality occurred in 11% of white and 8% of black children. However, black children had an average hospital stay of 5.2 days, compared with 4.3 days for white children. “Physicians are unconsciously or consciously more likely to assume child abuse in Black children, even though their injuries are less severe,” said the presenting study author. “We also assume white children are being missed and are at risk of more abuse.”

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