Firearms - injury statistics and incidence rates
The following statistics were are the latest available from the National Safe Kids Campaign:
Injury and death rates
- Approximately 1,800 children, ages 14 and under, are treated annually in hospital emergency rooms for unintentional firearm-related injuries.
- In 1999, 88 children, ages 14 and under, died from unintentional firearm-related injuries; more than half of those children were between the ages of 10 and 14.
- Nine times as many children die from unintentional firearm-related injuries in the US than in the next 25 industrialized countries combined.
- In 2000, non-powder gun-related injuries (for example, BB guns or pellet guns) sent more than 8,400 children to hospital emergency rooms for treatment.
Where and when
- Most unintentional firearm-related deaths among children occur in or around the home; 50 percent at the home of the victim, and 40 percent at the home of a friend or relative.
- The presence of a firearm in the home increases the risk of unintentional firearm-related death among children (especially if the firearm is loaded and kept unlocked).
- Most unintentional firearm-related child deaths involve guns that were loaded and accessible, and occur when children play with the gun.
- Up to one-half of firearm owners keep their firearms loaded and ready for use some of the time.
- Most unintentional shootings among children occur in the late afternoon, on the weekend, during summer months and during the holiday season when children are most likely to be unsupervised.
- Rural areas have higher incidences of unintentional firearm-related injuries, as well as higher rates of firearm ownership.
- Approximately 3.3 million children in the US live in households with firearms that are, at times, kept loaded and unlocked.
- Boys are more likely to suffer unintentional firearm-injuries or die from an unintentional shooting than girls. More than 76 percent of children ages 14 and under who die from unintentional shootings are boys.
- African-American children, ages 14 and under, are twice as likely to die from an unintentional shooting than Caucasian children.
- Children living in the South are five times more likely to die from unintentional shootings than children living in the Northeast.
- As many as 75 to 80 percent of first and second graders know where their parents' gun is kept.
- Some 3-year-olds are strong enough to pull the trigger of many handguns.
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