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Guns Kill About 1,300 US Children Every Year

First Posted: Jun 20, 2017 05:47 AM EDT

There are a number of mass shootings reported in the United States in the past few years. But these killings mask an even more terrifiying reality: Handguns and firearms actually cause the deaths of many children every year than flu or asthma.

According to the Los Angeles Times, an average of 3.5 people under the age of 18 are shot in the U.S. every day. Another 15.5 are treated in a hospital emergency department for gunshot wounds. In fact, according to the report, an average of 1,287 children and adolescents died each year between 2012 and 2014. This makes firearms the second most common cause of death, following only motor vehicles.

Another way to look at it is that a gun is the cause of more than one in 10 deaths of those under 18. This makes the U.S. the highest in any other high-income country to have child fatalities regarding to guns.

In a new analysis published in the journal Pediatrics showed an unusually comprehensive look at how guns take a toll on children. The majority of these deaths are boys between the ages of 13 and 17. Homicides, on the other hand, constitute an average of 53 percent of the gun-related deaths in children, and African-American youths are the usual victims of such violence.

The states with the highest rates of gun-related homicides in the years 2010 and 2014 include southern states such as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee. States in the Midwest also nearly topped the list, including Illinois, Missouri, Michigan and Ohio. In the west, the highest rates are from California and Nevada, while Connecticut, Maryland and Pennsylvania take the lead in the Northeast.

While these numbers are alarming on their own, new analysis also noted a disturbing rise in gun-related child suicides. This accounted for 38 percent of all the deaths, mostly children who are white or Native American.

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