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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Michigan: To Protect Kids, Teens from Firearm Harm, Answer These Questions First

Firearm injuries kill more U.S. children and teens than anything else, except car crashes.

But research on how those injuries happen, who’s most likely to die from one, or what steps would prevent them, has lagged behind research on other causes of death in young people.

Now, a team of 24 experts from around the country has published a list of the 26 most pressing questions that they call for impartial studies to address.

In the new issue of JAMA Pediatrics, a team of 24 experts from around the country lays out a list of the 26 most pressing questions that they call for impartial studies to address.

The list was developed after an extensive review of existing scientific literature and a structured consensus-building process involving input from gun owners, law enforcement, clergy, the educational community, firearm injury prevention advocates, medical organizations and more.

The team includes researchers from 12 universities and hospitals. All belong to the Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens (FACTS) consortium, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). They are led by a trio of University of Michigan injury prevention experts.

“Firearm injury prevention research could answer many questions, but we need to address the most urgent questions first and focus on what could bring death rates down fastest, just as we have with other causes of injury,” said Dr. Rebecca Cunningham, one of the FACTS leaders, an emergency physician at Michigan Medicine and a professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

“Answering these questions in an objective, rigorous way will provide valuable information for the country to use, just as past research on automobile injury led to changes that cut the death rate for children and teens in half.”

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