A new study by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, found that over a five-year period, 398 children under the age of 16 were brought to emergency rooms in St. Louis with gun-related injuries. Almost 78 percent of these victims were African Americans.
The study includes only those children brought to emergency rooms and does not include children who died from gunshots wounds at the scene or on the way to the hospital.
The study found that 82 percent of all children who were victims of gun violence were boys and a majority were African Americans. Some 35 percent of the shootings were accidental and 75 percent occurred in the home.
Martin S. Keller, an associate professor of surgery at Washington University and senior author of the study, stated that “children getting injured by firearms is a major health crisis in this city. St. Louis is the focus of this study; however, it’s representative of many other regions in the U.S. If we take a public-health approach to the problem and treat gun violence like we would any other danger facing children, we could decrease gun injuries and deaths.”
The article, “Firearm Injuries in the Pediatric Population: A Tale of One City,” was published in The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery. It may be accessed here.