MONDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The number of gun injuries
suffered by children in the United States is significant, and most
of those kids are shot intentionally, a new study finds.
There were 185,950 emergency department visits for gun-related
injuries to children 19 years and younger between 1999 and 2007,
according to the analysis of data from the National Hospital
Ambulatory Medical Care Survey.
That works out to about 20,600 such injuries a year, the
Of the overall gun-related injuries noted in the study, nearly
8,400 (4.5 percent) were fatal. The study also found that 63
percent of the injuries were intentional and 37 percent were
Children at highest risk included males, adolescents age 12 and
older, and blacks.
The study was scheduled for presentation Oct. 17 at the American
Academy of Pediatrics' national meeting in Boston.
"This is a significant finding. Perhaps we are underestimating the true scope of this problem," lead author Dr. Saranya Srinivasan said in an AAP news release.
"We know there are certain pediatric populations at higher risk for firearm injuries. We hope this research will bring attention to the issue of pediatric firearm injuries, and that we can continue to focus our efforts on firearm injury prevention campaigns, including targeting the regions and groups at the greatest risk for these injuries," Srinivasan added.
The most pediatric gun injuries occurred in the South (47
percent), and the least in the Northeast (5 percent), the
Research presented at meetings should be considered preliminary
until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, experts
The Nemours Foundation has more about
children and gun safety.