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Growing research efforts on traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) have been made in China recently to investigate the risk factors and the treatment outcomes of TBIs. However, very few of these studies have specifically focused on children. The purpose of this study was to investigate the epidemiological characteristics of pediatric traumatic brain injuries (TBI) requiring hospitalization among Chinese children 17 years and younger, by sex and age groups. We retrospectively analysed pediatric TBI inpatient data obtained via electronic health records from one children’s hospital in China. Patients ages 17 years and younger admitted to the hospital due to TBIs from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2015 were identified using ICD-9 and ICD-10. The demographic, injury, and hospitalization characteristics were analysed by sex and age groups. Findings show that a total of 1087 pediatric TBIs admitted to the hospital were included (61.5% boys and 38.45% girls). The highest proportion of hospitalization was observed in the 1–3 years age group. For both boys and girls, the most common diagnosis was ‘traumatic epidural hematoma’ (n=350, rate=21.7 per 10 000 hospitalizations), followed by ‘traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage’ (n=154, rate=9.6 per 10 000 hospitalizations). The leading mechanism of TBI was ‘fall’, accounting for 62.3% of all TBI hospitalizations. No sex difference was observed in the injury mechanism (p=0.641), but the distribution of injury mechanisms varied substantially across age groups (p<0.001). The median length of hospital stay was 8.5 days and the median hospitalization cost was ¥ 7977.4 Chinese yuan (approximately $1140 USD). In conclusion, boys and children aged 1–3 years incurred more pediatric TBIs requiring hospitalization than their counterparts. Prevention of falls, the most common injury mechanism in both boys and girls, is an important strategy to reduce pediatric TBIs and related hospitalizations.