By Maggie Fox, NBC News Child-Abuse Injuries on the Rise - ABC News abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/child-abuse-injuries-rise/story?id=... A new look at child abuse reports suggests there may have been a small but worrying rise in injuries to babies over the past decade or so. While most research suggests child abuse is down overall, the report published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics shows infants are far from safe. The study contradicts government data collected over the same time, and it shows that health officials need to take a better look at whether child abuse is getting better, worse or staying the same, experts said. “I think it’s premature to make any conclusions about whether it is going up or down,” says Dr. James Anderst, chief of the section on child abuse and neglect at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo., who was not involved in the study. “Medical providers may be getting better at identifying abuse over time.” Either way, it’s still happening and that’s a concern, says Dr. John Leventhal of Yale University, who led the study. “Maybe parents are doing better and hurting their children less in general, but there is a small group where there continue to be substantial injuries that end in hospitalization,” Leventhal said. Leventhal and colleague Julie Gaither looked at statistics on children admitted to hospitals for serious injuries. Writing in the journal Pediatrics, they said they found a nearly 11 percent increase over 12 years in serious injuries to babies a year old and younger. This is at the same time that two major national surveys of child abuse found decreases of between 55 percent and 23 percent in child abuse injuries overall, for all ages, between 1997 and 2009. It's important to point out that each study goes to different sources for data -- this week's study looks at hospital admissions, while the government studies examined reports of abuse filed to Child Protective Services and other agencies by doctors and other sources. Child abuse is a serious problem in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says more than 740,000 children and youth are treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries resulting from violence every year. “Child abuse, neglect or violence can actually affect the development of a child’s brain – impacting the child now and for years to come. Our Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) studyshows a connection between child maltreatment and some of the nation’s worst health problems, including depression and heart disease,” CDC child abuse expert Linda Degutis says in a blog on the agency’s website. CDC declined comment on Monday’s study in Pediatrics.