THURSDAY, Aug. 5, 2021 (HealthDay Information) — U.S. gun gross sales elevated early within the COVID-19 pandemic, and lots of of these firearms ended up in properties with teenagers, researchers say.
“This discovering is regarding as a result of we all know that the one greatest danger issue for adolescent firearm accidents is entry to an unsecured firearm,” mentioned research co-author Dr. Patrick Carter. He’s co-director of the Institute for Firearm Harm Prevention on the College of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.
A nationwide survey of major caretakers of youngsters discovered that 10% of these households purchased a gun between March and July of 2020, and three% turned first-time gun homeowners. The survey was carried out by the Firearm Security Amongst Youngsters and Teenagers (FACTS) Consortium.
In properties that already had a gun, new weapons had been extra prone to be purchased by those that already reported storing not less than one gun unlocked and loaded, in response to the research.
It isn’t clear what prompted the rise in gun shopping for recognized within the survey, however it raises considerations, the researchers mentioned.
“This research demonstrates that now we have extra work to do to assist households that have already got firearms, or might buy new firearms, to scale back the potential dangers to their youngsters by selling safer storage practices that assist to scale back the danger of youth firearm damage and loss of life,” Carter mentioned in a faculty information launch.
Annually, practically 50 out of each 100,000 U.S. excessive school-age teenagers are injured by weapons and 10 out of each 100,000 are killed. Teenagers in that age group usually tend to die from a gun damage than another trigger, the researchers added.
There was no affiliation between the mental health standing of fogeys or teenagers and the probability of shopping for a gun. Nevertheless, one in seven (14%) of the households that purchased a gun within the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic additionally had a teen with depression symptoms, in response to the survey.
The research findings have vital implications for public well being. The outcomes had been printed on-line just lately within the Journal of Behavioral Medicine.
Examine co-author Marc Zimmerman, co-director of the Firearm Harm Prevention Institute, mentioned, “If we all know that households are storing firearms unsafely and that a specific amount of them have teenagers who’re experiencing despair, that may inform how we might tailor messaging round secure storage to households at elevated danger.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics has extra on guns in the home.
SOURCE: College of Michigan, information launch, July 30, 2021