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Health And Medical

Gun Deaths Rose 30% Among U.S. Kids in ten years

By Alan Mozes

HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, July 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A grim new analysis finds that American youth became 30% more prone to die due to gun violence in the last decade.

The jump in risk has been largely driven by big spikes in gun-related suicides, and also increases in every types of gun-related deaths among both girls and non-Hispanic white kids, investigators found.

Actually, the final decade could have seen probably the most marked increase up to now in firearm deaths among children, noted study co-author Jagdish Khubchandani, a professor of public health at New Mexico State University, in Las Cruces.

Khubchandani said the findings unfortunately didn’t come as a shock, given the constant upsurge in firearm ownership and access in the usa.

Still, the outcomes are sobering. By 2020, he said, losing ones life at the hand of firearms was pegged because the leading reason behind death among children.

There is one caveat, however: those states with thelowest gun violence death rate during the period of the last decade ended up being those that also had probably the most stringent gun regulations. And that, said Khubchandani, suggests there could be a legislative solution to protect American kids in the years ahead.

Khubchandani and his University of Toledo study co-author James Price pointed to prior statistics that indicate gun violence poses a well-established threat to American minors.

For instance, they noted that gun-related deaths among American kids beneath the age of 15 take into account 90% of most such deaths all over the world when considering all wealthy industrialized nations.

And in 2019, gun-related accidental injury, murder and suicide accounted for three of the very best 10 leading factors behind death among American kids beneath the age of 13.

To explore a decades worth of gun violence trends among American youth, Khubchandani and Price pored over data that were published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

All of the gun deaths involved occurred among children aged 19 and younger. A few of the deaths were deemed accidental, while some were the consequence of suicide, murder or interactions of a criminal nature.


Ultimately, the duo identified a 30% rise in risk on the 2010 to 2019 study timeframe. Throughout that period, suicides among young Americans rose by 63%. Among girls, gun-related deaths rose by 46%. Risk also rose by 45% among white youth and by 36% among Black youth.

However the upsurge in risk played out differently, based on geography.

To begin with, 18 states had so few gun-related deaths among youth overall that no conclusions about risk trends could possibly be drawn, the analysis authors noted.

Simultaneously, while young Americans over the South saw their threat of dying after an interaction with a gun rise by 52%, California and three northeastern states (NY, NJ and Pennsylvania) experienced no risk increase at all, the findings showed.

A number-crunching analysis suggested one possible reason: All states had relative strong laws on the books focused on limiting a childs usage of guns.

Viewed backwards, six out from the seven states with the best jump in gun-related deaths among kids either had no child access gun laws of any sort or only very weak laws set up. Those states included SC, Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio, Kansas, Texas and Indiana.

Khubchandani said that trend shows that reforming regulations and considering firearm access certainly are a major area of the equation directly in charge of youth gun-related deaths. Simultaneously, he acknowledged that poverty, crime, household gun ownership rates and difficulties accessing mental health care likely also are likely involved.

Absent a significant shift in these factors, we are able to probably see this trend of youth firearm deaths escalating further,” he warned.

The findings were published recently in the American Journal of Medicine Open.

Ari Davis is really a policy analyst with the Coalition to avoid Gun Violence, located in Washington, D.C. Davis cautioned that the existing analysis, alone, doesn’t prove that tighter gun laws actually lower risk among teenagers.

However, there exists a body of research showing that strong gun laws are associated with reductions in gun deaths, noted Davis. “Access prevention laws reduce youth suicides, homicides and unintentional injury.


More broadly, “this study highlights the growing crisis of youth gun violence inside our country, Davis said.

Guns are actually the leading reason behind death for children and youth in the U.S. ages 1 to 19, accounting for more deaths than car crashes or cancer,” Davis said. “We should treat gun violence just like the public health epidemic that it’s, and pass evidence-based policies to safeguard our children and stop these deaths.

More info

There’s more on gun violence at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions.

SOURCES: Jagdish Khubchandani, PhD, professor, public health, department of public health sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces; Ari Davis, policy analyst, Coalition to avoid Gun Violence, Washington, D.C.; American Journal of Medicine Open, June 2022

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