Incidence and circumstances of nonfatal firearm-related injuries among children and adolescents

Elizabeth C. Powell*, Edward Jovtis, Robert R. Tanz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the incidence and circumstances of nonfatal firearm-related injuries among children and adolescents treated in US emergency departments. Design: Data were obtained from the Firearm Injury Surveillance Study, 1993-1997; data were collected through medical record review at hospitals participating in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. Setting: The hospitals participating in National Electronic Injury Surveillance System are a stratified probability sample of all US hospitals. Main Outcome Measures: Numbers and population rates for nonfatal firearm-related injuries among children and adolescents younger than 20 years old. Results: An estimated 115131 (95% confidence interval, 76769-153493) children and adolescents were treated for a nonfatal gunshot wound during the study period. The estimated annual rates of injury (per 100000) were 2.0 (children 0-4 years old), 2.2 (children 5-9 years old), 15.4 (children 10-14 years old), and 106.5 (adolescents 15-19 years old). The ratios of nonfatal to fatal firearm-related injuries were 4.0 (children 0-4 years old), 4.4 (children 5-9 years old), 5.0 (children 10-14 years old), and 4.4 (adolescents 15-19 years old). An additional estimated 103814 children (95% confidence interval, 69 223-138405) were shot with a nonpowder firearm (BB or pellet gun). Boys 5 to 9 and 10 to 14 years old had the highest rates of injury related to nonpowder firearms, an estimated 36.2 and 99.8 per 100000, respectively. Fifty-six percent of those 15 to 19 years old were assault victims. An estimated 48% of children and adolescents with powder firearm-related gunshot wounds and an estimated 4% with nonpowder firearm injuries were admitted to the hospital. Conclusions: Nonfatal injuries related to powder firearms and nonpowder firearms (BB or pellet guns) are an important source of injury among US children and adolescents. Ongoing surveillance of nonfatal firearm-related injury among children and adolescents is needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1364-1368
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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