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Study: 16 US children hospitalized DAILY for gun-related injuries

More than 5,800 children—or 16 kids a day—were treated for firearms injuries in 2012, according to recent research.

Though the study, which Dr. Alyssa Silver will present at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Meeting in San Francisco this week, determined that approximately 5,862 kids in 2012 were injured by guns, the author believed the number was much higher. Dr. Silver pointed out to CNN that their data didn’t include children who died in the emergency room and en route to the hospital nor did it count those who were treated and released.

Dr. Silver’s report revealed another startling trend: Though most children were shot by accident, a majority of 15- to 19-year-olds were intentionally assaulted harmed by guns. The study also identified a disparity in the makeup of gun violence victims. They determined that most kids hospitalized for gunshot injuries (53 percent) lived in an area “which fell within the bottom 25 percent of median household income,” according to a press release.

Though 2012’s numbers were lower than 2009, Dr. Silver claimed it isn’t a cause for celebration.

“I think most people would agree one child being shot is too many.”

For their study, Dr. Silver and researchers used the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID), which logs children’s hospital inpatient stays.

“Our findings add urgency to the need for preventive public health measures to reduce gun injuries in children,” the assistant pediatric professor at the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore/Albert Einstein College of Medicine concluded in a press release.

She continued, “The fact that 57 percent of firearm-related injuries in children under 15 years old were unintentional, for example, highlights the need for improved gun safety and storage practices.”