CDC: Hospitalizations from Gun Injuries Increase—Especially for Kids

March 30, 2023

Hospital emergency rooms saw a sharp increase in patients with gun injuries during the Covid pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday.

Of all age groups, those 14 and younger experienced the largest increase in the proportion of gun injury-related E.R. visits, according to the CDC’s study. The rate was roughly 40 kids per week in 2022, up from about 29 per week in 2019. 

The study was released as the U.S. was still reeling from Monday’s deadly mass shooting at The Covenant School in Nashville, where three 9-year-olds and three adults were killed by the shooter before she died in a shootout with police.

It was the 128th mass shooting in the U.S. so far this year and the 90th school shooting. 

According to the CDC, the Covid-19 pandemic created challenges that might have influenced the risk of firearms injuries among kids, including social isolation, limited access to mental health services, and heightened housing and financial insecurity. Also, more time spent at home potentially increased kids’ access to guns.

Although the number of weekly average gun-injury visits to emergency rooms has decreased slightly since 2020, there were still 1,170 such visits in 2022, nearly 200 more than the weekly average in 2019, according to the CDC.

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