Handguns and other firearms cause the deaths of more children in the United States each year than the flu or asthma, according to a comprehensive new report on gun violence and kids.
Each day in the United States, an average of 3.5 people under the age of 18 are shot to death and another 15.5 are treated in a hospital emergency department for a gunshot wound. Between 2012 and 2014, an average of 1,287 children and adolescents died each year as a result of gun violence, making firearms second only to motor vehicle crashes as a cause of injury-related deaths. Another 5,790 were treated for gunshot injuries in U.S. hospitals.
Here’s another way to look at it: In the United States, a gun is the cause of death in more than 1 in 10 deaths of people under the age of 18.
The number of child fatalities related to guns is far higher in the U.S. than in any other high-income country. Another study has reckoned that the U.S. accounts for 91% of all the firearms-related deaths of children under 14 in the world’s 23 richest countries.
The new analysis, published Monday in the journal Pediatrics, represents an unusually comprehensive look at the toll that guns take on children.