What's killing our kids?

The American Academy of Pediatrics published a new report today about injuries kids sustain from firearms. Every day during the year 2009 (the most recent data available), about 20 kids were injured by firearms seriously enough to require hospitalization. For children and adolescents under the age of twenty, there were 7,391 hospitalizations, and 453 of those kids died while in the hospital. 85 percent of the hospitalizations were for kids between the ages of 15 and 19.

Just for reference and comparison, the CDC has published some statistics about teen drivers for the year 2010. There were 282,000 teens between age 16 and 19 treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries suffered in motor-vehicle accidents, and 2,700 deaths.

As another data point, the CDC also has some facts about unintentional drownings. For kids 14 years of age and younger, there are 765 deaths per year and 4,069 hospital admissions per year.

I realize that the data for unintentional drownings does not exactly match up with those death from motor-vehicles and firearms. The drowning data includes a broader, and different age group of kids. However, I still believe the comparison is insightful.

Causes of death in young people, 2009

Please buckle up your kids, make sure your pool has a fence, and lock up your guns.

hat tip Dr. Claire McCarthy writing at boston.com