About 500 children die from gunshot wounds and 7,500 more become injured and hospitalized every year in the United States, according to a new study.
The findings were presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida.
The researchers reviewed statistics from the Kids’ Inpatient Database for a total of 36 million pediatric hospital admissions from 1997 to 2009, the last year for which data is available.
Hospitalizations from gunshot wounds rose more than 80 percent from 1997 to 2009 (4,270 to 7,730) and in-hospital deaths increased from 317 to 503, according to the study.
Lead study author Dr. Arin L.Madenci said, “Handguns account for the majority of childhood gunshot wounds and this number appears to be increasing over the last decade.”
“Furthermore, states with higher percentages of household firearm ownership also tended to have higher proportions of childhood gunshot wounds, especially those occurring in the home,” he added.
The study also found that there is a strong link between the percentage of gunshot wounds happening in the home and the percentage of households possessing firearms.
According to a new government report, the rate of violent crime in the United States went up fifteen percent last year. The crime rate rose for the second year in a row, marking an end to two decades of declining crime rates.
More than 28,400 people have been killed by guns in the US since the massacre of 26 elementary school students and teachers in Newtown, Connecticut, last December, according to The Slate’s estimate, based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.