A study based on data from 2012 to 2014 suggests that, on average, 5,790 children in the United States receive medical treatment in an emergency room each year for a gun-related injury. About 21 percent of those injuries are unintentional.
From 2012 to 2014, on average, 1,297 children died annually from a gun-related injury in the US, according to the study, published in the journal Pediatrics on Monday.
The study also revealed which states in the U.S. saw most of those deaths among children and which children may be most at risk for a gun-related injury.
Doctors also emphasize that there are methods available to safely secure and store firearms, away from children, and they recommend that parents employ those methods when keeping guns in the home.
Boys and guns
The researchers examined 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 examined data from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System database.
Specifically looking at deaths and injuries among children up to age 17, the researchers analyzed the data for trends that may have occurred from 2002 to 2014.
They found that, among the deaths, 53 percent were homicides, 38 percent were suicides, 6 percent were unintentional, and 3 percent were related to law enforcement or undetermined. Among the injuries, 71 percent were assault, 21 percent were unintentional, 5 percent were related to law enforcement or undetermined, and about 3 percent were from self-harm.
Boys accounted for 82 percent of all child firearm deaths and about 84 percent of all nonfatal firearm injuries that were medically treated in the study. African-American children had the highest rates of firearm homicide, and white and Native American children had the highest rates of firearm suicide.