Study Says Guns Kill 1,300 US children Every Year

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A study based on data from 2012 to 2014 suggests that, on average, 5,790 children in the US receive medical treatment in the ER each year for a gun-related injury. 21% of these injuries are unintentional.

From the year 2012 to 2014, on average, 1,297 children died every year from a gun-related injury in the US, according to the study, published in the journal Pediatrics this week.

The study also showed which states in the US saw most of those deaths among kids and which children may be most at risk for a gun-related injury.

The researchers in the study looked at national data on fatal firearm injuries from death certificates in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Vital Statistics System database.

For nonfatal firearm injuries, the researchers studied data from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database.

They specifically looked at deaths and injuries among children up to the age of 17. Researchers analyzed the data for trends that may have occurred from 2002 to 2014.

Here are some of the startling statistics:

Among the deaths:

  •  53% were homicide
  •  38% were suicide
  •  6% were unintentional
  •  and 3% were related to law enforcement or undetermined.

Among the injuries:

  •  71% were assault
  • 21% were unintentional
  • 5% were related to law enforcement or undetermined
  • and about 3% were from self-harm.

Boys were the victims for 82% of all child firearm deaths and about 84% of all nonfatal firearm injuries that were medically treated in the study. African-American children also had the highest rates of firearm homicide, and white and Native American children had the highest rates of firearm suicide.

Those patterns of gun-related deaths also appeared to fluctuate by state:

  • The District of Columbia and Louisiana had the highest rates of child firearm deaths
  • Several states — including Delaware, Hawaii, Maine and New Hampshire — had 20 or fewer deaths
  • The highest rates for homicides were concentrated in the South; across the Midwestern states of Illinois, Missouri, Michigan and Ohio; and in California, Nevada, Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
  • For suicides, which were calculated only for children 10 and older in the study, the researchers found that incidents were widely dispersed across the country.

Please read our Gun Safety Tips here.


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