Nonoperative management of intra-abdominal bleeding (IAB) from blunt injuries in children has been advocated fur many years. Nonoperatively managed patients, however, are at risk for missed associated intestinal injuries. To evaluate this question, we reviewed the darts of 120 children who had traumatic IAB; 106 were initially managed nonoperatively and observation failed in 2, Fourteen underwent emergency operation. Forty patients had isolated liver and/or splenic injuries while the others had injuries associated with several organs. During observation peritonitis developed in 3 patients and further radiologic examinations failed to confirm an intestinal injury. Diagnostic peritoneal lavage demonstrated contaminated blood and fecal particles from injured intestines in 3 patients; they underwent emergency operation at 10, and 26 h after admission. There was no mortality or morbidity associated with delayed treatment. These data suggest that the majority of patients with IAB may be successfully treated nonoperatively, but associated intestinal injuries should be suspected in all cases.