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Research Letter
Impact of Policy on Children
September 8, 2020

Locations of Mass Shootings Relative to Schools and Places Frequented by Children

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Pediatric Surgery, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 2Division of Neonatology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • 3New York Medical College, Valhalla, New York
  • 4Division of Emergency Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
JAMA Pediatr. Published online September 8, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.3371

In US trauma centers, firearms are the second leading cause of trauma-related death in pediatric patients.1 In children (<18 years), firearms are associated with one of the highest case fatality rates (16.7%) of all injury mechanisms.2 According to the Gun Violence Archive, in 2019 alone, 3774 children experienced gun violence, including 985 killed and 2789 injured.3 The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports multiple-victim school homicide rates have increased significantly between 2009 and 2018, following 15 years of decline.4 Considering the overall burden of gun violence, mass shootings are responsible for a relatively small number of deaths and injuries. However, these events also expose other residents, notably children, in the nearby communities to violence. This study examines the location of mass shootings relative to schools and places frequented by children, highlighting the potential risk of exposure to violence in our communities.

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