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Public Health: Firearms & Children

In: Social Issues

Submitted By wildcat83
Words 1264
Pages 6
Public health is an expansive discipline encompassing a vast array of issues and policies. Yet it carries within it a distinctly noble mission. The Future of Public Health defines it as “Organized community efforts to ensure conditions in which people can be healthy. Activities that society undertakes to prevent, identify, and counter threats to the health of the public. “ Therefore in fewer words, its mission is simply to protect its namesake, the public’s health. Many noble individuals have contributed to this pool of knowledge leaving legacies that have saved millions of lives and continue to save lives today. Included in the many facets of public health are injuries, both accidental and intentional. An article entitled “Firearm related injuries amongst children: Estimates from the nationwide emergency department sample” reports that close to 50,000 injuries result from violent acts within the US each year. A significant amount of those injuries involve the use of a firearm. Furthermore, in 2008 the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS) reported that firearm injuries accounted for 14,831 ER visits by children alone. Although firearm injuries are unfortunate and dangerous in any situation, those involving children and adolescents are extremely despairing. The effects of a firearm injury in the early stages of life can not only have lasting physical effects, but can also result in psychological issues. Of the 14,831 ER visits mentioned, 494 died in the ER and 392 died following patient admission. Another article entitled “Variation in Pediatric and Adolescent Firearm Mortality Rates in Rural and Urban US Counties” reported 23,649 deaths from firearms over an 8-year span between the years of 1999 and 2006. Of these reported deaths, 15,190 were homicides, 7,082 were suicides, and 1,377 were unintentional deaths. The thing to notice about these figures...

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