Trends in Firearm Injuries Among Children and Teenagers in the United States
Background: Gun violence among children and teenagers in the United States occurs at a magnitude many times that of other industrialized countries. The trends of injury in this age group relative to the adult population are not well studied. This study seeks to measure trends in pediatric firearm injuries in the United States. Methods: Data from the National Trauma Data Bank (2010-2016) were used in selecting patients evaluated for firearm injury. Patients were classified as children and teenagers (<20 y) or adults (≥20 y). Changes in the proportion of firearm injuries among children and teenagers relative to the overall population (pediatric component) were determined using trend analyses. Results: There were 240,510 firearm injuries with children and teenagers accounting for 45,075 of these injuries (pediatric component of 18.7%). Pediatric firearm injury was mostly among males (87.4%), Blacks (60.7%), and victims of assault (76.0%). The pediatric component of firearm injuries decreased from 21.7% in 2010 to 18.2% in 2016 (P-trend < 0.001). Although there was a decrease from 22.7% to 17.6% in the pediatric component of assault (P-trend < 0.001), there was an increase from 8.7% to 10.1% in the pediatric component of self-inflicted injuries (P-trend = 0.028). Substratification by race/ethnicity showed decrease in the pediatric component of firearm injuries among all groups (P-trend < 0.001) except Whites (P-trend = 0.847). Conclusions: Despite reductions in the pediatric component of firearm injuries, there remains a significant burden of injury in this group. Continued public health efforts are necessary to ensure safety and reduce firearm injuries among children and teenagers in the United States.
Olufajo, Olubode A.; Zeineddin, Ahmad; Nonez, Harry; Okorie, Nnaemeka C.; De La Cruz, Enrique; Cornwell, Edward E.; and Williams, Mallory, "Trends in Firearm Injuries Among Children and Teenagers in the United States" (2020). College of Medicine Faculty Publications. 268.