Rural Youth Accidentally Injured By Guns More Than City Kids, Report Says

Jul 6, 2018

Rural children five to fourteen are more likely to be hospitalized for gun related injuries than urban kids the same age, according to a new report.
Credit Greg Kevarian

Young children in rural areas are unintentionally injured by guns at higher rates than kids in cities, according to a new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The report found that teenage boys of color in urban areas are hospitalized for intentional gun assaults more than any other age group. But when you look at children from five to fourteen years old in rural places, unintentional gun injuries are four times higher than in cities. 

James Dodington is a professor of pediatrics at the Yale School of Medicine. He said rural areas should offer more education about gun storage.

“Look at the distribution of firearm safes and other firearm safety equipment to areas that might be the most prone to these kind of injuries, and that that can help promote firearm safe storage and hopefully prevent injuries,” he said.

He said rural communities also need to communicate with parents.

“To try and promote, in an advocacy way, parents asking about firearm safety among their peers, among other parents, to go out and make sure they’re able to in fact ask about safe storage practices.”

Wyoming has the 11th highest rate of firearm deaths in the nation. Dodington says it’s unclear exactly why there’s a disparity between rural and urban youth gun injuries, but that it’s important to continue investigating since gun deaths are the third leading cause of fatalities for children in the US.