Gun-Related Injuries and Deaths Skyrocket Among U.S. Kids
According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, gun-related injuries are now the third leading cause of death in children between the ages of one and 17 in the United States. Each year, almost 1,300 children die from gunshot wounds and another 5,790 children are treated for and recover from gunshot wounds.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from the National Vital Statistics System, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, and the National Violent Death Reporting System. They evaluated trends in gun deaths and gun-related injuries in children from 2002 to 2014. Between 2012 and 2014, about 53 percent of gun-related fatalities in children under the age of 18 were homicides, 38 percent were suicides, and the rest were classified as accidental deaths, law enforcement shootings, or “undetermined.”
Boys, older children, and African-American children were more likely to die in shootings, according to researchers. Experts believe that community- and school-based programs to connect with young people in high risk areas, and programs that provide information about safe gun storage practices, are needed to reverse this alarming trend.