Nearly 1300 Kids Killed By Guns Each Year, Study Finds – NBCNews.com

Natasha Christopher, center, holds a photo of her son Akeal Christopher from Brooklyn, N.Y., during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015, with advocates and family members of victims of gun violence. Akeal, 14, was shot in the head when a group of young men cornered him and his pals. Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP file

The older the children, the higher the rates.

“Firearm-related deaths are the third leading cause of death overall among U.S. children aged 1 to 17 years, surpassing the number of deaths from pediatric congenital anomalies, heart disease, influenza and/or pneumonia, chronic lower respiratory disease, and cerebrovascular causes,” Katherine Fowler of CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention and colleagues wrote.

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“They are the second leading cause of injury-related death in this age group, surpassed only by motor vehicle injury deaths.”

Children are rarely hurt or killed by guns in other developed countries, the researchers pointed out. More than 90 percent of all children aged up to 14 who are killed by guns in high-income countries are killed in the U.S., they noted.

The team looked through CDC data on deaths in the U.S. for their study. “This article provides the most comprehensive examination of current firearm-related deaths and injuries among children in the United States to date,” the team wrote.

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The numbers may look different from other studies, in part because the CDC classified children as those 17 and younger. Some other studies include people up to age 20 or 21, and rates of gun injuries in older teens and young adults are much higher.

“Older children (aged 13–17 years) had a rate of fatal firearm injury that was more than 12 times higher than the

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