Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Rural kids at higher risk of hospitalization from gun injury

Firearms are a leading cause of injury and death for American children and teens; a new study from the American Academy of Pediatrics examines how the hospitalization rate for gun injuries in rural areas differs from urban areas.

Overall, urban teens from 15 to 19 were most likely to be hospitalized for assault with a firearm, but rural children from 5 to 14 were most likely to be hospitalized for an unintentional gun injury. Unintentional injuries were the leading cause of hospitalization in all rural and urban age groups, the study reports.

The study examined sampled data from The Kids' Inpatient Database to identify 21,581 hospitalizations for firearm injuries in patients under 20 years of age in 2006, 2009 and 2012 (the KID is released every three years and contains data from more than 4,100 hospitals in 44 states). Urban-rural classification was based on patients' county of residence, and rates were calculated using weighted cases and census data. The study didn't include patient deaths that occurred in the emergency department. 

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