Firearm injuries and children: Position statement of the American pediatric surgical association
© 2019 American Academy of Pediatrics. All rights reserved. Firearm injuries are the second most common cause of death in children who come to a trauma center, and pediatric surgeons provide crucial care for these patients. The American Pediatric Surgical Association (APSA) is committed to comprehensive pediatric trauma readiness, including firearm injury prevention. The APSA supports a public health approach to firearm injury, and it supports availability of quality mental health services. The APSA endorses policies for universal background checks, restrictions on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, strong child access protection laws, and a minimum purchase age of 21 years. The APSA opposes efforts to keep physicians from counseling children and families about firearms. The APSA promotes research to address this problem, including increased federal research support and research into the second victim phenomenon. The ASPA supports school safety and readiness, including bleeding control training. Although it may be daunting to try to reduce firearm deaths in children, the United States has seen success in reducing motor vehicle deaths through a multidimensional approach: prevention, design, policy, behavior, and trauma care. The ASPA believes that a similar public health approach can succeed in saving children from death and injury from firearms. The ASPA is committed to building partnerships to accomplish this.
School of Medicine