NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) – Researchers at Yale University have learned that, on average, approximately 20 children are hospitalized every day in America as a result of gun-related injuries.

According to Web MD, the study – led by Dr. John Leventhal, a pediatrics professor at Yale – discovered that 7,391 children below the age of 20 were hospitalized in 2009, according to the most recent records available on the matter.

“Three firearms-related patients each day are younger than 15 years of age,” Leventhal, who also serves as medical director of the child abuse program at the Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, was quoted as saying. “This is a tragedy. There are substantial injuries to these children that may have lifelong consequences.”

Those involved in the study found that the injuries sustained have sometimes caused long-term disabilities. An estimated 15 percent in all suffered brain, spine or nerve injuries, in fact.

“Those don’t necessarily heal,” Leventhal additionally noted to Web MD. “Those children will struggle with these injuries for the rest of their lives.”

Researchers also found that 453 of the almost 7,400 children admitted that year for gunshot wounds died as a result of their injuries.

Direct attacks, accidents and suicide attempts were said to largely contribute to the amount of gunshot wounds observed in children.

Researchers recommended parents adhere to the firearms recommendations put forth by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which state that, if parents insist upon having guns in the first place, that they should be unloaded and stored in a locked location, with ammunition stored elsewhere.

The study was published by the journal Pediatrics.


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