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Before beginning a study of trauma care for children, it is necessary to understand contemporary injury patterns of children, specifically the volume and types of injury, injury severity, and institutions where children are hospitalized for trauma. This article was designed to address these issues using the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) 2003 that contains over 7 million discharge records from hospitalized children in the United States. Our classification of hospitals into pediatric experience and trauma experience are a first step in better defining what hospital characteristics are important to the optimal care of an injured child. In an era of limited resources, we would like to assure that the right child received the right treatment at the right place.