Injuries caused by firearms kill 1,300 children under the age of 17 in the United States per year. Additionally, 6,000 children are injured in non-lethal shooting incidents.
A new state study draws a gloomy picture of the damage inflicted on society, and individuals, in connection to the use of firearms.
The study from the American Institute of Public Health is referred to as the most comprehensive ever made, and addresses figures for the years 2002 to 2014.
On an average day, 19 children and young people are killed or injured by a firearmin the USA. Boys, teenagers and African Americans are the groups that are identified as being at extra risk.
In addition to the numbers, there were several other findings that were clarified in the Medical Journal for Pediatrics on Monday.
Most injuries and deaths were the result of wrongful actions. Murder and suicide were the main causes of fatal injury, while assault was the main cause of non-lethal injury.
The death rate is approximately 2 per 100,000 children a year; the figure is twice as high for African American children. For non-fatal injury, the rate is 8 per 100,000 in the population per year.
The number of deaths fell by one third from 2007 to 2014. During the same period, the number of suicide cases increased by almost two thirds. The suicide rate in general also increased during that period.
Most accidental deaths occurred in connection with playing with weapons, when the trigger was pulled unintentionally.
Most children wounded weren’t handling the weapon thmeselves. 40% of those who accidentally shot themselves were under the age of 10.
In an article following the survey, it points out that it is ‘both reasonable and wise’ for doctors to talk about firearms security with parents, especially those who keep weapons at home.
‘It can help remind ourselves, and parents, of our message of safe retention of home
weapons being in line with guidelines given by weaponry groups, and sportsmen’s groups’ said Dr. Eliot Nelson at the University of Vermont’s Children’s Hospital.
Figures for the percentage of children shot dead by police were not included in the report, as only a very small percentage of U.S. police forces keep such records for children or any other age group.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today