Guns lead as most common cause of death for children and teens in the US



Guns are the leading cause of death for US children and teens, since surpassing car accidents in 2020.

Firearms accounted for nearly 19% of childhood deaths (ages 1-18) in 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Wonder database. Nearly 3,600 children died in gun-related incidents that year. That’s about five children lost for every 100,000 children in the United States. In no other comparable country are firearms within the top four causes of mortality among children, according to a KFF analysis.

The shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville on Monday, marks the 16th shooting this year in grades K-12 and the deadliest since the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, last year, according to a CNN analysis of school shooting data. Six people — three children and three adults — were killed.

There have been 130 mass shootings so far in 2023, the highest number of shootings recorded at this point in any year since at least 2013, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.

Child and teen mortality overall surged during the Covid-19 pandemic — driven not by Covid-19 deaths but by fatal injuries, according to a new study in JAMA. Firearms accounted for nearly half of the increase in mortality in 2020.


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