A new study published in the journal Pediatrics has concluded that across the US, about twenty children and minors are hospitalized each day due to firearms injuries. According to the study, there were about 7,391 hospitalizations for children and minors in 2009 as a result of guns and firearms. About six percent of these cases resulted in fatalities. Robert Sege of the Division of Family and Child Advocacy at Boston Medical Center was co-author of the study.
Clearly, more needs to be done to prevent this type of injury to minors and children in Miami and across the country.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that firearms injuries overall have been declining over the past ten years. However, for teens between ages 15 and 19, firearms remain the second leading cause of fatalities. Only car accidents cause more accidental fatalities among this age group.
According to Sege and the other researchers in the study, firearms injuries to minors and children are a public health concern for a number of reasons. One problem is that children who suffer from gun-related injuries usually need expensive and extensive medical care after their injury. They may require social services, mental health services, follow-up treatment, surgery, home care, rehabilitation, and other medical assistance.
Sege’s research provides a snapshot of gun-related personal injuries in Miami and across the country. According to the study, 75% of gun-related hospitalizations affecting children under the age of 10 involved accidental injuries. About 52% of injuries from firearms included open wounds, while 50% involved fractures. About 34% of gun-related injuries affecting children involved internal injuries, especially injuries to the pelvis, thorax, or abdomen.
The study also concluded that about 89% of children and teens admitted to hospitals for firearms injuries were males. The injury and hospitalization rates for firearms injuries were highest for children between the ages of 15 and 19. Researchers also found that African-American children and teens accounted for 47% of all firearms-related hospitalizations. In about 54% of these cases, the injuries resulted from assaults and in about 36% of cases injuries occurred due to accidental or unintentional causes.
Sege and his researchers noted that more needs to be done to determine exactly why these injuries occur. In the meantime, Sege agrees with the American Academy of Pediatrics that guns should not be stored in a home that had teens or children. If guns are present in a home where children and teens live, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that they be stored locked and unloaded, with ammunition stored and locked in a separate location in the home.
It is already devastating when child injuries occur in Miami and other communities. For families, however, gun violence can be especially traumatic because it does cause serious injuries while being so preventable. More needs to be done to prevent this type of personal injury in Miami from affecting our children.
If you or your child have been injured in Miami or anywhere in South Florida, get legal advice from personal injury attorneys who are part of the Miami community. Flaxman Law Group is a full-service law firm with offices in Miami as well as two other South Florida locations. Contact us at any time to arrange a free consultation for you and your family.