Firearms continued to be the leading cause of death among U.S. children, according to a new study.
The study, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in the journal Pediatrics earlier this week, found that 4,752 children died from gun-related injuries in 2021, an 8.8-percent increase from the year before.
In 2021, among U.S. children who died by firearms, 84.8 percent were male, 49.9 percent were Black, 82.6 percent were aged 15 to 19 years, and 64.3 percent died by homicide, according to the study.
Geographically, there were worsening clusters of firearm death rates in Southern states and increasing rates in Midwestern states from 2018 to 2021, the study also showed. Across the United States, higher poverty levels are also correlated with higher firearm death rates.
“U.S. pediatric firearm deaths increased in 2021, above the spike in 2020, with worsening disparities,” researchers concluded. “Implementation of prevention strategies and policies among communities at highest risk is critical.”
In 2020, firearm injuries became the leading cause of death among U.S. children and adolescents.