500 kids die, 7,500 injured by guns yearly
October 28th, 2013
11:56 AM ET

500 kids die, 7,500 injured by guns yearly

Some 7,500 children are hospitalized yearly for gunshot wounds, and 500 of them die, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

The study also found a "significant association" between the percentage of kids' gunshot wounds occurring in homes and the percentage of households containing firearms, the AAP said in a statement. Researchers reviewed statistics from the Kids' Inpatient Database from 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006 and 2009, and estimated state household gun ownership using the most recent data available from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Researchers presented this data at the annual AAP conference Orlando on Sunday. The organization represents 60,000 pediatricians and other medical officials.

Kids and guns: 'These are not isolated tragedies'

Between 1997 and 2009, child hospitalizations for gunshot wounds increased from 4,270 to 7,730, and in-hospital deaths increased from 317 to 503.

While many current gun-control efforts focus on limiting military-style semi-automatic assault rifles, "handguns account for the majority of childhood gunshot wounds, and this number appears to be increasing over the last decade," said lead study author Dr. Arin L. Madenci.

"Further, states with higher percentages of household firearm ownership also tended to have higher proportions of childhood gunshot wounds, especially those occurring in the home." Policies focusing on reducing the number of guns in homes, particularly handguns, may be key to effectively reducing children's gunshot injuries, Madenci said.

The state with the lowest percentage of home gun ownership was New Jersey, with 10%; the highest was Montana, with 62%, according to the study.

The AAP previously established a policy to reduce gun access and injuries in children by recommending that pediatricians counsel parents of children as young as 6 months old.

When and how do parents educate children about guns?

soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. SteveG

    I'm probably going to take a beating but here goes ... I grew up in a military family, grandma was raised on a farm and she always had some kind of gun or rifle since I could remember. For Christmas I found a Stevens long rifle 22 under the tree. My Uncle made me take it apart and put it back together again right there under the tree that morning ... I was 8 years old and it was 1963 ... I never had a curiosity about what a gun was or what it could do because I was educated at such an early age. I had all kinds of toy guns and played army all the time ... but I always knew the difference all the time. Shot my first rabbit with a 410 over-under and the kick always scared me ... I was still only 8 years old ... My great-grandmother wrang it's head off and fried it up in the kitchen ... I felt so bad for killing that rabbit I never shot another thing again.... I guess what I'm trying to say is it's never too early to educate your children ... Once you notice they have a curiosity about something then it's time for YOU as a parent to satisfy that curiosity ... NOT just hide it away and leave it to them to find out for themselves because that could turn out to be a horrible mistake! ... Ask yourself how comfortable are you with a weapon in your house? If it's second nature to you the teach that to your children !!! If a weapon in the house for whatever reason makes you nervous, then you should NOT own or possess one !!!

    October 29, 2013 at 13:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Texas Patriot

      Great response Steve, and I agree. It is just a shame that those who have no need or do not want to own or fire weapons continue to infringe on our rights to enjoy and own firearms.

      October 29, 2013 at 13:44 | Report abuse |
    • John

      My Air Force father was given a heavy .22 caliper 'match' rifle from an Airman that owed him money. At age 9, he gave my brothers and me a complete session on what it was, how to fire and clean it. He belonged to a private club, so we were taken there. At about 25 meters, he had a buddy down in a deep ditch hold up a target on a tall stick so all of us could practice firing. I not only hit the target, but scored a number of dead center bulls eyes as well, earning praise from my father and his friend. The take away from this? I joined the Army at age 19 and over a 30-year career fired "EXPERT" on every weapon put into my hands by that organization, including helicopter gun ships in Vietnam. I never had any curiosity or desire to mishandle or engage in any unsafe practice with any weapon I've owned, nor any desire to harm anyone. The premise stands...satisfy a child's curiosity, work with him rather than a policy of 'stay away don't touch.'

      October 29, 2013 at 19:21 | Report abuse |
    • _____

      Texas, your kids are free to shoot themselves, their friends or you. That is no skin off my nose. The two teenagers who robbed me at gunpoint did bad. I guess their right to "enjoy firearms" is what really matters. A few years later, three guys tried to rob me at gun point again. If I had a weapon on me, I would have been able to defend myself, you think? No. It happened in the blink of an eye and it was over. Not all guns are used as toys. I just want YOU to remember that. There are two sides. If you want me to respect your point-of-view, you must also respect mine. Only then can we have a rational discussion.

      October 29, 2013 at 19:50 | Report abuse |
    • Its the kids

      I guess that the 5 year boy who killed his 2 year old sister just did not get educated about gun safety. Do a search for "5-Year-Old Brother Accidentally Kills Sister, 2-Year-Old Caroline Starks, With Kid-Friendly Gun".

      October 29, 2013 at 20:58 | Report abuse |
    • mountainlady

      Steve, I agree with you. Personally, I deplore the proliferation of hand guns in the house and in the glove boxes of every car. But there are places in this country, particularly in the West where kids grew up with guns in the house. And you're right, they were taught all about them when they were very young. I expect that most of those guns were long guns, but they are a part of life in some states nevertheless. Unfortunately that familiarity breeds as much carelessness as it does conscientiousness, hence the high rate of children killed by guns in Montana. If gun owners want more respect from the rest of us they need to show some willingness to teach and police their own.

      October 30, 2013 at 00:13 | Report abuse |
    • Feria Cobalt

      Education on gun safety should begin early and guns should ALWAYS be locked up unless you have one attached to you.

      October 30, 2013 at 06:12 | Report abuse |
  2. Mary Beth

    Enjoy firearms?

    October 29, 2013 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Texas Patriot

      Yes Mary Beth, ENJOY. Its fun and enjoyable to plink at targets and varmits while doing so safely and staying alert to the
      hazards involved with firearms. I just love gutless Americans like you who don't even realize that the only reason you can
      run your jibs right now lady is because some poor American in the past fought for your right to run your flap. If you don't
      like the way American was found and fought for, move out lady and go to a country where you have no firearms and you
      too can become a statistic. Americans like you make me sick cause you are pathetic!!!!!!!

      October 29, 2013 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
    • Evander

      I enjoy them very much. I understand that many people like you have a mental illness that makes you fear inanimate objects. You can get help for that.

      October 29, 2013 at 18:29 | Report abuse |
    • Feria Cobalt

      Mary Beth, guns are part of our American heritage-I personally enjoy taking them apart and marveling at the engineering that goes into each and every handgun and rifle. Each day I am thankful that I can defend my family if I am forced to.

      October 30, 2013 at 06:15 | Report abuse |
  3. Mary Beth

    7,500 children hospitalized and 500 of them die, and you enjoy guns.
    You may well be beyond hope and redemption.

    October 29, 2013 at 14:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Texas Patriot

      Lady, I am HOPE and REDEMPTION!!!!!

      October 29, 2013 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
    • Screamin

      So, next you will want cars banned since more children die or are injured by or in cars?....Wise up, it's not the guns that are the problem but the uneducated or lackadaisical use of them.

      October 29, 2013 at 15:56 | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      I think the misconception is that the guns did the harming. The person(s) behind the guns did the harming. If it wasn't guns, it would be knives, baseball bats, or some other weapon. Some kids are raised on violent video games and think that the person killed can always get up to fight again. Please don't lump us who like the sport of shooting in with violent criminals.

      October 29, 2013 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
    • RC Roeder

      Screamin, case an point why guns should have more restrictions. Thank you for your convincing argument of not putting more guns into the hands of "uneducated or lackadaisical " people.

      October 29, 2013 at 16:03 | Report abuse |
    • RC Roeder


      The difference between a responsible gun owner and a violent criminal is about the weight of one bullet.

      October 29, 2013 at 16:06 | Report abuse |
    • Evander

      a gun kept my wife from being raped and killed in 1982. A gun kept looters from our home after Hurricane Andrew hit when I was stationed in Florida and while in So Cal it kept looters away during the Rodney King riots. You may enjoy being a victim, but not me or mine.

      October 29, 2013 at 18:31 | Report abuse |
    • TheTruth

      You are aware (I hope) that the FBI reports that 3.5 times as many crimes are stopped by guns as are committed with them. And that 99.7% of all gun related crimes are committed by people that possessing that gun illegally (also the FBI)? And that crime is at its lowest level in the US in 50 years while private gun ownership is at all-time record levels?

      October 29, 2013 at 19:42 | Report abuse |
    • bigE

      I grew up in a home with guns, I was taught gun safety. I now own guns. I enjoy them very much.

      Do you own a car, a swimming pool or bath tub, a flammable item, stairs or chairs, or a toxic chemical such as drain o? The leading injuries that cause kids to die are crashes, drowning, burns, falls, & poisoning. Do some research before you make your ignorant insults.

      October 29, 2013 at 19:56 | Report abuse |
    • Feria Cobalt

      These accidents happen because people are not educated NOT because of the guns themselves.

      October 30, 2013 at 06:17 | Report abuse |
    • Rich N

      Mary Beth, why are you not just as outraged for the 100K+ people who die from post staph infection in our hospitals every year? Or how about the 36K+ people who die from drunk driving last year, where the outrage there? What you don't see in this report is that over ¾ of the shootings are in the inner cities with illegal handguns. These "kids or children" are the youth of the inner city and these kids grow up with gangs and drug dealers all around them. These articles do not accurately portray gun owners in the US. 34K people died due to handguns in 2012. 79% were in from the inner cities like Oakland, CA, Chicago, IL, and NYC. All three of these states have the strictest gun laws in the county yet have the highest firearm related deaths in the country.

      October 31, 2013 at 11:24 | Report abuse |
  4. Tommy

    The Top Five Causes Of Unintentional Injury
    1. Road crashes: Kill 260,000 children a year and injure about 10 million. They are the leading cause of death among youths ages 10 to 19, and a leading cause of child disability.

    2. Drowning: Kills more than 175,000 children annually. Up to 3 million children each year survive a drowning incident. Due to brain damage in some survivors, nonfatal drowning has the highest average lifetime health and economic impact of any type of injury.

    3. Burns: Fire-related burns kill nearly 96,000 children a year, and the death rate is 11 times higher in low- and middle-income countries than in high-income countries.

    4. Falls: Nearly 47,000 children fall to their deaths every year, but hundreds of thousands more sustain less serious injuries from a fall.

    All the above children to you does not mean a thing! Why because you did not memtion them only the ones killed by guns....unreal!

    October 29, 2013 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • macosite

      Are these international statistics? These figures are very, very far off. Also, pointing out that 500 children in the US died from guns does not in any way mean that others do not care about child deaths from other causes. That is illogical. And indeed, there are fire, motor vehicle, drowning, and other accident prevention initiatives going on all over the country in nearly every jurisdiction. These gun deaths are *entirely preventable* and should be a major focus of prevention work.

      Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

      In the United States during 2010, more than 1,200 children ages 14 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and approximately 171,000 were injured.Also in 2010, 2,700 teens in the United States aged 16–19 were killed and almost 282,000 were treated and released from emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor-vehicle crashes.

      From 2005-2009, there were an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boating related) annually in the United States — about ten deaths per day. About one in five people who die from drowning are children 14 and younger.

      In 2010, fire departments responded to 384,000 home fires in the United States, which claimed the lives of 2,640 people (not including firefighters) and injured another 13,350, not including firefighters. This number is all people - not just children.

      October 29, 2013 at 15:53 | Report abuse |
    • RC Roeder


      of all of the static you mentioned, which gun death was not part, it is one of the few that could be stopped.

      October 29, 2013 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
    • Evander


      Maybe if the anti-gun loons had not forced the NRA to stop doing their Eddie Eagle gun safety training in schools, more kids would know not to play with them.

      October 29, 2013 at 18:33 | Report abuse |
  5. vikingwoman

    As a pacifist & a Texan I think responsible gun ownership needs to be addressed! Right now there is a burglary epidemic in Houston, which many homeowners have answered by coming out armed & ready to shoot! As a pacifist I hate that it's a necessity, but people have a right to protect themselves & I can't live in my coco.on of peace, refusing to see reality! However, it also seems we are so inured by our gun friendly society that we forget that guns are deadly weapons w/no other purpose but to maim or kill! Unlike cars, for ex. which are transportation, but also have high accident rate! Responsiblility is really the key to all the things that can potentially kill us! I agree w/an education blitz of responsible storing of handguns & I also don't believe automatic wartype weaponry is necessary in anyone's home!!

    October 29, 2013 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Evander

      I have 5 of these war weapons, but as you used the term you show you really do not have a clue. To get each of my full auto pieces I paid in excess of 50k, paid the 200 dollar transfer tax, had ATF crawl up my butt during the back ground check and am subject to very strict storage and other regulations. They can stop by my house unannounced during the day and ask to see my stuff. In over 20 years not one of those weapons has taken a life unless you count numerous watermelons and cardboard cutouts at the range. Really, you do not know jack on the topic.

      October 29, 2013 at 18:38 | Report abuse |
  6. RC Roeder

    To Texas Patriot,
    You must be a member of the GOP. A lot of talk but no solutions if it infringes of your ideals or fun. Sorry, I know there has to be tighter control of guns and how they are obtained. I own guns. They are locked and secured at all times. You are not redemption but a carrier of old tired ideas on what the world should be.

    October 29, 2013 at 15:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Texas Patriot

      Right, Mr. the weight of a bullet. That is the dumbest thing I ever heard RC. You have got to be a YANKEE, I always thought
      it is the split second decision that one makes to protect themselves or kill instead of the weight of the bullet. Really RC, the
      difference between a gun owner and a criminal is the weight of that bullet. WOW RC you must be an Einstein
      because you just basically called all gun owners criminals to include your gun toting self. Really??????? Hey, genius what
      does RC stand for anyway?? Republican Coward?????

      October 29, 2013 at 16:56 | Report abuse |
    • Evander

      the only thing I supported was making instant checks at gunshows and private sale needed. IMHO all gun laws after the GCA of 1934 should be repealed.

      October 29, 2013 at 18:40 | Report abuse |
    • Feria Cobalt

      Please don't slam on the GOP-we have MANY independent voters here

      October 30, 2013 at 06:19 | Report abuse |
  7. Mary Beth

    Mahatma Gandhi was right: “You cannot counter anger with civil reason”.

    October 29, 2013 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RC Roeder

      very true, even worse try and take a way a toy from a spoiled child.

      October 29, 2013 at 16:08 | Report abuse |
  8. Shelia

    American Academy of Pediatrics and 1.6 million abortions performed in the U.S. each year. But no restrictions there nope.

    October 29, 2013 at 16:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Evander

      also, funny those doctors do not care their fellow medics kill over 100,000 every year

      October 29, 2013 at 18:41 | Report abuse |
    • basic biology

      Shelia, you know very well there are all manner of restrictions for women wishing to obtain an abortion. Terminating an embryo that you wouldn't be able to tell is human, chicken, cat or salmon is very different from shooting and killing a sentient human being. If you think the egg you cracked open in the kitchen is not yet a chicken, there's hope for you yet. You are free to decide what becomes of your embryos. You cannot decide what becomes of mine. You are free to shoot yourself. You are not free to shoot anyone else. See?

      October 29, 2013 at 20:11 | Report abuse |
    • UriNation

      And not a single bullet was fired.

      October 29, 2013 at 22:43 | Report abuse |
    • Feria Cobalt

      Abortion is a medical term for an ended pregnancy. Some people have had tubal pregnancies and had to choose between their own life and terminating a pregnancy.

      October 30, 2013 at 06:22 | Report abuse |
  9. John

    The little derringer lower left in picture is a much forgotten weapon these days. A true pocket gun, they are excellent to have if you're in a real tight spot with a bad guy.

    Available in many calibers including .45 cal!

    October 29, 2013 at 17:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Evander

      I have the one that fires 410 or 45lc

      sweet piece.

      October 29, 2013 at 18:41 | Report abuse |
    • John

      I purchased an American Arms derringer at .40 cal. even though advised it would be problematic at that size. Went to the range and set up a target at about 5 meters. Aiming body center on the target, I fired the first shot and missed it completely, with recoil so severe it purpled my palm under the right thumb. I had to aim at the crouch to hit the target at high chest. Moreover, if my intent was to only wound an antagonist, I couldn't – as I never felt comfortable that I had full control of the weapon. As a result, I ate the $400 cost and had the derringer destroyed. I have other hand guns that are better engineered and much more stable, won't injure my shooting hand, and perform in a manner providing a high level of confidence that I will hit exactly what I'm aiming at.

      October 29, 2013 at 19:36 | Report abuse |
    • yeah

      41 rimfire was good for about 5 feet.

      October 29, 2013 at 22:43 | Report abuse |
    • Feria Cobalt

      What is the recoil like? a .45 Derringer sounds like a pocket rocket

      October 30, 2013 at 06:25 | Report abuse |
  10. Bill

    How many of those 500 so called kids were gang bangers killing each other ?

    October 29, 2013 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. DaltonGang

    On average, over 700 kids under age 14 die each year of unintentional drowning (not boating related). Add in the rest of the teenage years and the numbers are much greater. Source? CDC.

    Lets ban water.

    October 29, 2013 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. UriNation

    Just another element of gene pool cleansing.

    October 29, 2013 at 22:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. yeah

    how many people die in car accidents.

    October 29, 2013 at 22:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. maggie

    that's an entire schools worth of children and a small town. It's not worth it , gun control now

    October 30, 2013 at 01:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Feria Cobalt

      FDA approved drugs and a negligent parent caused the Sandy Hook incident.

      October 30, 2013 at 06:26 | Report abuse |
  15. MikeBark

    When you ban abortion which kills over a million children, then you may have the moral authority to be listened to about the 500 killed by guns.

    October 30, 2013 at 02:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. iron mike

    How many die from cars? Probably the lowest cause of death in kids

    October 30, 2013 at 06:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Sally Chans

    Im making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do, Cloud200.c*o*m

    October 31, 2013 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Byron

    This is a skewed study. It includes the highest rate of firearm injuries/deaths for what they consider children – 18-20. African-American males in that age group alone skew the numbers thanks to inner city violence in places like Chicago, Detroit, Washington D.C., Camden NJ.
    If you removed anyone over 18, the numbers would be much smaller, for ALL ethnic groups. While a larger percentage of blacks would still be shown in the numbers, overall the numbers would drop significantly.
    it is skewed numbers like these that are spawned from a biased set of research that does not help stop the cause of violence – it only serves to demonize inanimate objects.
    If you really want to stop violence, break the cycles that fuel it – poor education, high unemployment, incentives to do illegal activities like drug sales or armed robbery in order to survive, ignoring poor parenting and slap on the wrist punishments for child criminals when nothing is done to rehabilitate the offenders, etc.
    Guns aren't the problem, people are. Irresponsible parents, and the criminals themselves. Until you fix those things that are broken, nothing will change, regardless of what you try to ban or regulate.

    January 27, 2014 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
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  20. Catherine S

    Dr J , Aussie etc You can put together the most logical, unarguable and non abusive truisms and the pro gun people will gleefully and insanely pull it apart with 'kids die from candy' . To them any gun death whether accidental or deliberate, even of children is just the price to pay for their right to own any and as many guns as they want. America seems incapable of doing anything about it.

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