Firearm-related injuries among Canadian children and youth from 2006 to 2013: A CHIRPP study

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Firearm-related injuries among Canadian children and youth from 2006 to 2013: A CHIRPP study

Category: Homicide, Injury, International, Suicide, Unintentional, Youth|Journal: Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine (full text)|Author: C Cox, K Hurley, S Stewart|Year: 2019

Objective

The purpose of this study was to describe Canadian contextual trends in pediatric firearm injuries and death from powder and non-powder firearms.

 

Methods 

This is a registry study of firearm-related injuries captured by the Canadian Hospitals Injury and Reporting Prevention Program (CHIRPP) for children ages 0 to 18 years presenting to participating CHIRPP emergency departments (EDs) from 2006 to 2013. Data included age, sex, year, setting, circumstance, and disposition for each case.

 

Results 

The CHIRPP dataset included 325 non-powder firearm injuries and 80 powder gun injuries. The rate of firearm injuries remained stable from 2006 to 2013 (44 per 100,000 ED visits). Forty-five patients required hospital admission and 2 died in the ED; 8 of 9 intentional self-harm injuries were inflicted with a powder gun. Most injuries occurred unintentionally from non-powder firearms (n=298, 71%) in the context of recreation (n=179) and sport (n=48). Eyes were the most commonly injured body part (n=150), 98% of which resulted from a non-powder firearm. Forty-three percent (n=141) of non-powder firearm injuries required treatment or admission.

 

Conclusions 

Eye injuries inflicted by non-powder firearms are a prevalent category of firearm-related injury. Most occurred through recreation and sport, highlighting a potential focus for primary prevention.

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