Photo: Buero Monaco/Getty Images

Some pediatricians who are stationed at major hospitals across the country are working with child welfare and law enforcement officials to help protect abused children from additional harm.

Why it matters: These doctors' conclusions check out most of the time, but murky evidence can risk the breakup of innocent families when doctors misidentify child abuse, an investigation by NBC News and the Houston Chronicle found.

  • Child welfare investigations are confidential, and there is no way for the public to know how often parents lose custody.
  • Physicians carry out their own investigations and sometimes overstate the reliability of their findings, using terms like "100%" and "certain" when something is hard to prove.
  • Wronged parents have faced financial ruin or lost jobs when they fought against Child Protective Services. Children can also suffer emotionally.

The bottom line: "The reporting reveals a legal and medical system that sometimes struggles to differentiate accidental injuries from abuse, particularly in cases involving children too young to describe what happened to them."

  • Still, an estimated 1,688 children died from abuse and neglect nationally in the fiscal year 2017.

Go deeper: Child detention is creating a mental health crisis

Go deeper

Updated 45 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

McConnell: Confirming Amy Coney Barrett will help GOP retain Senate

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed no regrets about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's controversial confirmation, telling Politico in an interview that he believes the decision to place her on the Supreme Court just a week before the election will help Republicans retain the Senate.

Why it matters: With a week to go until Election Day, many Republicans are concerned that President Trump's unpopularity could cost them the Senate. McConnell has long viewed the transformation of the federal judiciary through the confirmation of young conservative judges as his defining legacy.

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The fight over fracking

Fracking has become a flashpoint in the election's final week, particularly in Pennsylvania where both President Trump and Joe Biden made stops on Monday. But much of the political rhetoric has ignored that the industry has gone from boom to bust, beset by layoffs, bankruptcies and fire-sale mergers.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of fracking, and what it means for the future of American energy, with Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group.