According to a study released this Monday, twenty children or teenagers are hospitalized every day due to gun-related injuries.
In a report from USA Today which analyzed the study, researchers compiled the data in 2009 from 7,391 children and teens up to age 20. Alarmingly, researchers found that 75 percent of hospitalizations of children under 10 were due to incidents with firearms.
Even more eye-opening in the study is the apparent racial gap in the statistics. Researchers found that along with teenagers, black children made up 47 percent of gun-related hospitalizations — with 54 percent of the hospitalizations due to assaults. Overall, the hospitalization rate for black males was 10 times that of whites.
From USA Today:
[box type=”shadow”]The damage caused by gun-related injuries rarely gets the same attention as fatalities, “but that every day, 20 of our children are hospitalized for firearms injury, often suffering severe and costly injuries, clearly shows that this is a national public health problem,” says Robert Sege, director of the Division of Family and Child Advocacy at Boston Medical Center and a co-author of the study.[/box]
In regards to the notably higher poverty rate for young black males compared with young white males, Sege says the data did not “separate the effects of poverty from the effects of race.”
The study underscores “the need for funding for public health research to find the best way to reduce children’s access to firearms,” Sege said.
[box type=”shadow”]In the absence of such research, Sege says, the best advice is to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation that “the safest home for children and teens is one without guns,” and if there are guns in the home, they should be “stored unloaded and locked, with the ammunition locked away in a separate place.”[/box]