Brain Blogger published an article today, authored by Dr. Maker, highlighting how one in four U.S. children are exposed to weapon violence. The article describes an important study published in Pediatrics that reported that over 17.5 million (or 1 in 4) school-aged children in the United States have been exposed to weapon violence in their lifetime, as either victims or witnesses. The results also highlight that more than 2 million (1 in 33) children have been directly assaulted with lethal weapons, including guns and knives.
Other leading health institutions report even more alarming findings. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that gun violence is the second leading cause of death for children in the United States. Data from the National Center for Health Statistics supports these concerns, indicating that firearms are in the top 10 leading causes of injury deaths for children as young as 1 year old.
These statistics are staggering. It is critical that we step-up our efforts to help children with the trauma of exposure to weapon violence.
- Mental health professionals need to deliver intervention programs in schools, clinics, and shelters for children exposed to lethal weapon violence.
- Where Did My Friend Go? Helping Children Cope With A Traumatic Death is a children’s therapeutic picture book that can serve as an excellent first step in the journey of healing for young children who have been exposed to weapon violence and a traumatic death.
- Implementing standardized screenings for exposure to lethal weapon violence as part of a well-visit exam at the pediatrician’s, and in schools, Head Starts, and ERs may further allow us to intervene at the early stages of symptom presentation.
- Early intervention is prevention, and if one in four American children are being directly exposed to weapon violence, we need to step up now to break the emerging mental health crisis related to weapon violence.
- Please visit Brain Blogger to read the entire article.