Weapon injuries, including many by robbery, sent 75,000 children and adolescents over nine years in emergency rooms at a cost of nearly $ 3 billion, a first of their kind.
The researchers named it the first nationwide representative study on ER visits Gunshot wounds in US children. They found that more than a third of injured children were hospitalized and 6 percent died. During most of the 2006-14 study, injuries were falling, but there was a boom last year.
The researchers found that 11 out of every 100,000 children and adolescents treated in US emergency departments have gunshot wounds. That's about 8,300 children a year.
The scope of the problem, however, is wider; The study does not include children who were killed or injured by gunfire, who never made it to the hospital, nor the cost of shot patients after they returned home.
"I do not know what else we need to see in the world to get together and tackle this problem," Dr. Faiz Gani, the lead author and researcher at the Faculty of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University.
The study is an analysis of estimates of emergency medical visits in a national database created by the US Government Agency for Research and Quality in Health Care.
The researchers focused on victims under the age of 1
Almost half of the gunshot wounds were caused by raids, nearly 40 percent were unintentional and 2 percent were suicides. There were five times more ER visits to boys than to girls
Pediatric ER visits to gunshot wounds fell from a rate of 15 per 100,000 in 2006 to about 7 per 100,000 in 2013, then jumped to 10 per 100,000 a year 2014 latest data.
University funding paid for analysis, published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics.
The findings underscore that gun violence with children goes beyond mass shooting, which attracts the most attention, Dr. Robert Sege, Co-Author (19659002) "It is extremely sad because these children grow up in fear and influence their ability to feel safe and comfortable at home and at school, it has a tremendous ripple effect on child development", said Sege, a professor of medicine at Tufts University, who was not involved in the research.
Pressure from the arms lobby has limited US government funding for research on gun violations and death, has led to large gaps in the understanding of the scale of the problem. Denise Dowd, an ambulance at Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.
"It's really important that we have an idea of the size of lost and injured lives and how much money we spend … so we can prioritize it as a national health project."
But she said that more be known for prevention.
"We need national surveillance systems, just like we do with motor vehicle deaths to track those injuries and figure out the circumstances," she said.