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Home / Health / Handguns are more popular in US homes, with fatal consequences for children, a study says

Handguns are more popular in US homes, with fatal consequences for children, a study says



"We are concerned that children are dying for avoidable reasons, and we wanted to find ways to prevent it," said Kate Prickett, a family sociologist and demographer at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and lead author of the study. Published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Previously, Prickett and her team used national statistics to estimate the number of children under the age of 5 who died of gun violations between 1976 and 2016, as well as the number of families that owned weapons and the type of guns that were used they owned.

In the 41 years of the study, the proportion of families with small children who possessed firearms dropped from 50% to 45% in white and from 38% to 6% in African American families.

In White American households, the handgun rose from 49% of total guns held in 1

976 to 72% in 2016. This increase was accompanied by a doubling of child mortality from firearms in the last decade, which was partially explained study.

The authors said they did not have sufficient data to draw reliable conclusions on the trend for African American families, where the child mortality rate after firearm injuries is usually higher despite lower numbers of firearms.

Child mortality The number of firearms in the late 1970s and early 1980s peaked and declined until 2001, according to the study. Rates rose again, nearly doubling over the past decade from 0.36 per 100,000 children aged 1 to 4 to 0.63 per 100,000.

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The authors state that handguns are often purchased for personal protection and are therefore more frequently loaded, unlocked and accessible Place to be kept. According to a 2018 study in Urban Health, nearly 5 million children live in homes where at least one firearm is loaded and unlocked.

Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, general pediatrician and director of digital innovation at Seattle Children's Hospital, said the study reminds us that we live in an environment that is still not as safe for children as we wish.

"We know from the data that we can not simply tell our children not to touch them, and even if they know they should not touch, they still do," Swanson said was involved in the new investigation. "And they die more often because of this beautiful innocence and curiosity when a weapon is in the mix."

For parents who choose firearms at home, Swanson is clear.

"It can not be stored in a place that a child can access, and it should not be loaded loaded," she said. "We can not trust that children will not explore the gun or even understand how it works and how deadly it is."


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