AURORA, Colo. (AP) - A University of Colorado study of childhood injuries shows gun wounds make up a high number of cases, with self-inflicted injuries by adolescent boys among the highest.
Nearly 2 percent of childhood traumas seen at Denver Health and Children's Hospital Colorado are caused by firearms, according to the report from the Journal of the American Medical Association.
President Barack Obama and health researchers have called for more studies of gun violence after the Aurora theater shootings and the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn.
Several states, including Colorado, are considering or have passed tighter gun legislation since those mass killings last year.
Some federal funds have been blocked for gun research over concerns it would further politicize the issue. Obama has issued an executive order asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to resume studies.
The firearm injuries tend to be more severe than other childhood traumas, with 50 percent requiring intensive-care treatment, compared with only 19 percent in other injury cases, said lead author Dr. Angela Sauaia of the University of Colorado School of Public Health.
According to the Denver Post ( http://tinyurl.com/bb87ybu ), the CU research was not federally funded. It is up to policymakers and educators to take other steps, Sauaia said.
"We have to make a decision if that's the number we are willing to live with. I think we can all agree that children should not have unsupervised access to unlocked, loaded guns," she said.
The study looked at 6,920 youth injuries over nine years at the two hospitals.