Over 7,000 children are hospitalized or killed due to gun violence every year, according to a new study published in the medical journal Pediatrics. An additional 3,000 children die from gun injuries before making it to the hospital, bringing the total number of injured or killed adolescents to 10,000 each year.
The new study, led by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine, highlights the toll gun violence has on child mortality rates in the country. Doctors surveyed the most recently released data from 2009 that tracked pediatric hospital stays.
“This study reinforces what we know from the mortality data,” Daniel Webster, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, told NBC News. “We have an extraordinary health burden in our youth associated with firearms injuries.”
In the 2009 Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID), 7,391 children under the age of 20 had been hospitalized for injuries from firearms and the majority of those gunshot injuries —4,559—resulted from intentional firearm assaults. 2,149 of those injured were accidents, and 270 were suicide attempts. Of the children who were hospitalized, 453 – 6% – died from their injuries.
“That’s more than 7,000 children injured badly enough to be hospitalized,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. John Leventhal, a pediatrics professor at the Yale School of Medicine. “All are unnecessary hospitalizations because preventing gun violence is something that can actually be done.”
I almost didn't post this. I hate studies that call under-20-year-olds children, not because it's inaccurate - they could certainly be considered children, but because it gives you gun-rights fanatics fodder for complaint and an easy way to divert the discussion.
If I were in charge of the study, I'd have done under-18. The numbers still would have been impressive enough.
Having said that, the point of the article is in the last sentence that I posted.