A new study on guns & kids has ‘staggering’ results. Giving the most complete picture yet of the toll gunfire takes on Americans ages 0-17, the study says about 1300 US kids die by guns each year, 5790 are hurt.
Even crazier, those shocking numbers are probably an underestimate because gun deaths are not always consistently reported, the team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Nonetheless, the study, which was based on data from 2012 to 2014, suggests that about 19 children a day die from or are medically treated in an emergency room for a gunshot wound in the U.S. It’s gotten so bad that Dr. Stephen Hargarten, professor and chairman of emergency medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, compared gun violence in America to a disease. After all, of 23 high-income countries, 91% of children killed by firearms in 2010 were from the U.S., according to a study published in The American Journal of Medicine last year. Wow!
“The fact that these children are injured, they are cared for by surgeons, within the health care system, they have fractures, they have brain injuries, they have lacerations to their body and so forth, so that’s the biology of this disease,” said Dr. Hargarten, who was not involved in the new study. And as sad as it is, most of these deaths are not accidents, the CDC team found in their report, published in the journal Pediatrics. In fact, more than half of these deaths — 53 percent to be exact — are homicides, and another 38 percent are suicides.
“Firearm-related deaths are the third leading cause of death overall among U.S. 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. “They are the second leading cause of injury-related death in this age group, surpassed only by motor vehicle injury deaths.”
This year alone there’s been far too many headlines involving children and gunfire. Just earlier this month in Colorado, a toddler got his hands on his mother’s gun and fatally
Dr. Ruth Abaya, an assistant professor of pediatrics in the division of Emergency Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, said that “the findings were staggering” when speaking with CBS News about the new study. However, she added that they were “unfortunately, not surprising.” “Their numbers verified a lot of observations we’ve seen in regards to gun violence, gun death and unintentional injury to children over the years. It was very telling,” she added.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — are you shocked by the findings in this new study? What do you think Americans should do about it?