Guns send nearly 8,000 children to the emergency room each year in the United States, according to the first nationally representative study on the issue.
Around 75,000 U.S. children and teens visited ERs due to gun injuries between 2006-2014, according to an Associated Press report on the analysis.
One-third of those children were apparently hospitalized and 6 percent died. A little less than half of the gun-related injuries were reportedly from assaults, nearly 40 percent were accidental or unintentional and 2 percent were suicides.
Boys were reportedly more likely to visit the ER over gun injuries than girls.
The percentage of children going to the ER due to gun injuries has increased in recent years, jumping from 7 per 100,000 in 2013 to 10 per 100,000 in 2014.
It has fallen since 2007, however, when the rate was 15 per 100,000, the AP reported.
Dr. Denise Dowd, an ER physician at a hospital in Kansas City, Mo., told the AP that it is difficult to understand the breadth of gun-related injuries in the U.S. because the federal government limits funding for gun-violence research.
“It’s really important that we have an idea of the magnitude of life lost and injured and how much money we are spending … so we can prioritize it as a national health concern,” Dowd told the news service.
A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in July found that the number of firearm-related homicides in the U.S. increased by 31 percent from 2014 to 2016, but offered few details as to why the increase occurred.
A spate of mass shootings this year, including an attack at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday that killed 11, has increased national attention towards the issue of gun violence.