Twenty children with duodenal hematomas secondary to blunt trauma were treated between 1953 and 1983. The duodenal injury was isolated in ten cases and associated with intra-abdominal injuries in the others. In ten, the duodenal injury was suspected on admission and the diagnosis was confirmed within 24 hours by radiographic contrast studies. All ten were managed successfully with nasogastric suction and intravenous fluids. Ten patients underwent laparotomy for increasing abdominal tenderness and guarding. An isolated duodenal hematoma was found in four and treated by evacuation and/or gastroenterostomy. In five of the remaining six surgical patients, all of whom had multiple intra-abdominal injuries, the duodenum was left untouched. Three of these patients had postoperative contrast studies that showed early resolution of the duodenal hematoma. No duodenal stricture or leak developed in any patient. The children with isolated duodenal hematomas who were treated conservatively had a mean hospital stay of six days, whereas those treated surgically had a mean stay of 17 days. The ten patients with multiple intra-abdominal injuries had a mean hospital stay of 32 days. In this group, eight required total parenteral nutrition or nasojejunal feeds for nutritional support. In these patients, an isolated duodenal hematoma resulted in minimal morbidity and nonoperative management was usually successful. The presence of associated intra-abdominal injuries was responsible for the prolonged hospitalization and delayed return of normal intestinal function in some patients.