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Firearms--Injury Statistics and Incidence Rates
The following statistics are the latest available from the National SAFE KIDS Campaign:
Injury and death rates:
The number of unintentional deaths from firearms declined 72 percent from 1987 to 2000.
In 2004, approximately 40 children died from unintentional firearm-related injuries; more than half between the ages of 10 and 14.
Where and when:
Most unintentional firearm-related deaths among children occur in or around the home; 50 percent at the home of the victim, and 40 percent at the home of a friend or relative.
The presence of a firearm in the home increases the risk of unintentional firearm-related death among children (especially if the firearm is loaded and kept unlocked).
Most unintentional firearm-related child deaths involve guns that were loaded and accessible, and occur when children play with the gun.
More than one-half of firearm owners keep their firearms loaded and ready for use at least some of the time.
Most unintentional shootings among children occur in the late afternoon, on the weekend, during summer months, and during the holiday season, when children are most likely to be unsupervised.
Rural areas have higher incidences of unintentional firearm-related injuries, as well as higher rates of firearm ownership.
Approximately 3.3 million children in the U.S. live in households with firearms that are, at times, kept loaded and unlocked.
Boys are more likely to suffer unintentional firearm-injuries or die from an unintentional shooting than girls. Nearly 80 percent of children ages 14 and under who die from unintentional shootings are boys.
As many as 75 percent to 80 percent of first and second graders know where their parents' gun is kept.
Children as young as 3 years old may be strong enough to pull the trigger of many handguns.
Online Medical Reviewer:
newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Online Medical Reviewer:
Roux, Susan L., ARNP
Date Last Reviewed:
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