A statewide experience with pediatric abdominal visceral injury in restrained automobile passengers was compiled from the trauma registries of two academic institutions. Retrospective analysis of motor vehicle passenger injuries from 1987 to 1991 included age, sex, mechanism of injury, prehospital care, type of injury, therapeutic interventions, complications, and ultimate outcome. The records of over 2,000 patients evaluated for blunt trauma were reviewed, with 42 children fulfilling the following inclusion criteria: 15 years of age or younger, restrained in an automobile at the time of the accident, and diagnosed with an abdominal injury. Of the 42 patients studied, there were 20 boys and 22 girls; ages ranged from 2 months to 15 years (mean, 7.02 years). Six of 42 patients (14%) required extrication from the vehicle at the scene. Nineteen of 42 patients (45%) sustained belt-related abdominal wall bruising or erythema. The specific blunt visceral injuries noted were as follows: splenic 5, hepatic 5, bowel 6, renal 3, combined 6 (stomach, diaphragm, pancreas, or retroperitoneum). Twenty-three children (55%) had abdominal visceral injuries without external seat belt marks. Operative intervention was necessary in seven patients. A delay in diagnosing visceral injury occurred in 4 of 42 (10%) cases. One patient developed abdominal symptoms 72 hours after the accident. Length of hospital stay ranged from 1 to 45 days. Complications occurred in 4 (10%) of patients. There were two deaths due to injuries. Hollow and solid visceral injuries can occur in belted pediatric passengers during vehicular accidents. Both are a source of significant morbidity, and the patient should be evaluated carefully. A high index of suspicion should exist in those patients who require extrication at the scene and those who present with abdominal bruising.