Firearms have been the leading cause of death among children and teens in the U.S. since 2020, with over 4,500 young people dying from firearm injuries in 2022 alone. Thousands more survive such injuries each year, affecting families significantly. A study by Zirui Song of Harvard Medical School shows the long-lasting effects of gun violence on survivors and their families, from an increased risk of psychiatric and substance-use disorders to increased healthcare spending. These ripple effects often go unrecognized, particularly for siblings affected by the trauma. Practicing gun safety and promoting it in households where children and teens are exposed to firearms is crucial. Medical professionals play an essential role in this, with organizations such as the American College of Physicians, the American Nurses Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics developing policies and procedures to advocate for firearm safety.
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[Source: Harvard Medical School, November 6th, 2023]