Shootings kill or injure 19 USA children each day

Oceane Deschanel
Junho 20, 2017

A related study, 'Pediatric Hospitalizations due to Firearm Injuries in the U.S. in 2012, ' found that the average length of hospitalization for injuries was six days, costing an average of $22,644 per stay, with an estimated national cost of the hospitalizations at $130 million.

Playing with guns and unintentional firing were the reason for most of the unintentional deaths with most of the victims being bystanders.

But suicide rates show different demographic trends.

Firearm suicides are more evenly distributed among states, but higher in Western states.

The report showed that nearly 1,300 children in the U.S. die from gunshot wounds yearly, and an additional 5,790 children are treated for gunshot wounds and survive each year. Other studies only analyzed "selected outcomes" or certain types of injuries.

Now more than ever, the data should be a call to action for pediatricians to discuss with parents how to best protect children, pediatrician Eliot Nelson of the University of Vermont, Burlington, wrote in an accompanying editorial.

Among the findings were that rates of firearm homicide among children are higher in many Southern states and parts of the Midwest, relative to other parts of the country.

Researchers examined data from three national databases including the National Vital Statistics System, the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, and the National Violent Death Reporting System.

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More than half of these deaths were homicides while 38% were ruled suicide.

A new survey has found that gunfire kills or injures at least 19 children across the United States every day, with African-American teenagers being most affected by gun violence. It is also observed that nonfatal gunshot wounds injure nearly 8 out of 100,000 kids each year. Of the injuries, 71 percent were assault, 21 percent were unintentional, 5 percent were related to law enforcement or undetermined causes and around 3 percent were self-inflicted.

The same time period also saw the number of homicides fall from 1,038 to 699, the rate dropping by 36 percent to less than 1 per 100,000.

The study also broke down all gun deaths among children by state.

The most firearm deaths were in the African American community, while white and Native American children had the highest rates of firearm suicide.

"Firearm-related deaths are the third leading cause of death overall among US children aged 1 to 17 years, surpassing the number of deaths from pediatric congenital anomalies, heart disease, influenza and/or pneumonia, chronic lower respiratory disease, and cerebrovascular causes", Katherine Fowler of CDC's Division of Violence Prevention and colleagues wrote.

The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Fowler and colleagues disclosed no conflicts of interest.

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