Gun Fatalities Now Top Cause of Accidental Death in Children

A new analysis published in the journal Pediatrics reports that the rate of firearm fatalities among children under 18 increased by 87 percent from 2011 through 2021 in the United States, making them the top cause of accidental death in children, Roni Caryn Rabin reports for the New York Times. Roughly 2,590 children and teenagers under the age of 18 died of firearm injuries in 2021, up from 1,311 in 2011. While the overall rate of nonfatal injuries dropped by more than half among children during the decade studied, from 11,592 per 100,000 to 5,359 per 100,000, the rate of fatal injuries increased, from 14.07 per 100,000 children to 17.3 per 100,000. More than 4.5 million children live in homes where at least one gun is loaded and not secured. Drug poisonings among children younger than 18 more than doubled as well.

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