The American Academy of Pediatrics released a study Monday that lists South Carolina as one of the states with the highest rates of firearm homicide among children.
The new study represents a complete look at the toll that guns take on children. Researchers examined national data from federal databases of injuries, deaths and hospital records.
They found that from 2012 to 2014, on average, 1,297 children a year die in the U.S. from gunshot wounds and 5,790 are treated for a gunshot wound, according to the study.
“Firearm-related deaths are the third leading cause of death overall among U.S. children aged 1 to 17 years, surpassing the number of deaths from pediatric congenital anomalies, heart disease, influenza and/or pneumonia, chronic lower respiratory disease, and cerebrovascular causes,” the study states.
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The highest rates of firearm homicides among children were “largely concentrated” in seven southern states—South Carolina being one of them. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee are the other states listed in the study.
Back in February, a 3-year-old boy died in Horry County from a single gunshot wound in an accidental shooting.
Researchers say the majority of the nearly 1,300 children killed by gunshot wounds each year are boys between the ages of 13 and 17. In homicides, “African American children have the highest rates of firearm mortality overall,” and white and Native American children have the highest rates of firearm suicide, the study said.
Among all the gun-related deaths, researchers found that 53% were homicides, 38% were suicides, 6% were unintentional and 3% were due to legal intervention or undetermined. Among the injuries, 71% were assault, 21% were unintentional, 5% were due to legal intervention or undetermined and around 3% were from self-harm.
The Sun News has reached out to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to obtain statistics regarding South Carolina child shooting deaths. Check back later for updates.
Michaela Broyles, 843-626-0281, @MichaelaBroyles