Increase in Firearm Injuries Among Children

Increase in Firearm Injuries Among Children

(Picture/Courtesy Colorado News Connection) 


Newsroom El Comercio de Colorado 

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Firearm-related injuries in Colorado reached 7,000 medical claims in 2022, costing $8.4 million. This is the conclusion of a new analysis by the Center for Improving Value in Health Care. Cari Frank, a spokesperson for the institution, asserts that nearly nine out of ten claims were for firearm-related injuries in adults. However, the report indicates an alarming increase in the rate of these injuries among children.

“The rate of claims for firearm injuries among youth and children saw a significant 120 percent increase. Unfortunately, children tend to unintentionally harm themselves because of firearms,” stated Frank. Data from the Colorado All Payer Claims database showed that unintentional injuries were the most common type of firearm injuries across all age groups, in both rural and metropolitan areas.

Higher Injuries Among Males

Frank emphasizes that these injuries increased more among children. Between 2016 and 2022, the increase in injuries among children was 143 percent. Males had significantly more claims for firearm injuries than females. Injuries among males had rates four times higher for unintentional injuries; three times higher for assault; and two and a half times higher for self-harm. But Frank adds that females also saw increases in firearm injuries.

“Although males tend to have more firearm-related injuries, females have seen a percentage increase in cases of undetermined intent. There was also an increase in assault injury cases among females,” explained Frank. The expert hopes that politicians and voters will find the data useful in measuring the impact of current efforts to address firearm violence and deaths.

Prevention Programs Benefit Children

Frank believes it is crucial to continuously focus on education and community-tailored prevention programs. “Through educational or safety programs, these types of firearm injuries that are increasingly occurring throughout the state can be prevented. These prevention programs can save many lives, particularly the lives of many children,” concludes Frank.

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