Nonfatal firearm injuries among children higher than expected: study

Boston – Approximately 185,950 children 19 and younger visited emergency departments for firearm injuries between 1999 and 2007, according to research presented Oct. 17 at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Boston.

Of these injuries, 4.5 percent (or 8,368) were fatal and more than one-third were unintentional, researchers said. Male children, adolescents 11 and older, and blacks were at higher risk for an ED visit related to a firearm injury.

During the presentation, lead study author Saranya Srivivasan said that nonfatal firearm injuries among children were 30 percent higher than previously reported. “Perhaps we are underestimating the true scope of this problem,” Srivivasan said.

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