The following is excerpted from an online article posted by HealthDay.
Homicide has become a leading killer of children, with guns being the most common weapon used in their deaths, a recent study shows.
The overall rate of homicides in children has grown about 4.3% each year for a decade, with a steep rise seen between 2019 and 2020, when the number of kids who died by homicide rose 27.7%.
Firearm-related homicides rose 47.7% between 2019 and 2020, according to the study by researchers at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the U.S. Department of Defense, and Georgia State University’s School of Public Health. The findings were published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
Black male teens were impacted most: The homicide rate for Black males ages 16 to 17 was 18 times higher than that for white males and 4.6 times higher than for Hispanic males.
While the increases weren’t surprising, “that doesn’t mean they’re not alarming,” Dr. Elinore Kaufman, an assistant professor in the department of surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, told CNN.
More than 38,000 U.S. children were homicide victims between 1999 and 2020, the researchers found using National Vital Statistics System’s mortality data. This includes death certificates for U.S. residents and the National Violent Death Reporting System.
In a separate study published in the same journal, researchers found rates of firearm injuries seen at children’s hospitals had grown significantly in 2020 and 2021. They increased by 52%, from 1,815 between April 2018 and December 2019, compared to 2,759 from April 20 through December 2021.