Observations were made of 146 children who were accidentally injured or abused, and 113 children were studied in detail. The injuries of the abused group tended to be more severe and to be followed by serious sequelae more often than those of the accidentally injured, but the two groups, accident and abuse, were difficult to differentiate on the basis of history alone. Other findings such as developmental retardation, patient's ordinal position, family density, and ability to cope with stress were more useful. The physician must be aware that any infant accident or injury reflects a lapse in child care and requires more than emergency treatment.

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