Gun homicides and suicides in US children and teens are at a record high
By Annette Choi
(CNN) — Children and teens in the US are dying of gun-related homicides and suicides in record numbers, according to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There were 2,279 firearm homicides in children and teens (ages 1 to 18) in 2021 – double the number of deaths recorded a decade prior, according to the CDC’s WONDER database. Suicides by gun were also up 11% from the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.
Not all children, however, are at the same level of risk. Black children and teens are more likely to be killed in firearm-related incidents than children of other races. Seventeen in 100,000 Black children died by gun in 2021, compared to approximately 3 in 100,000 White children or 1 in 100,000 Asian children, according to CDC data.
Firearms have been the leading cause of death in children and teens since 2020, according to CDC data. Surpassing car accidents and cancer, gun-related deaths accounted for nearly 19% of childhood deaths in 2021.
Although school shootings account for a small share of child and teen gun deaths, they have been on a steady incline since at least 2017, according to a CNN data analysis — except for in 2020, when Covid-19 struck and schools pivoted to online learning. This year, there have been at least 54 shootings — 37 at K-12 schools and 17 on college and universities campuses — as of September 28.
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