MONDAY, April 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Sixty-nine percent of pediatric residents report caring for gun injuries during their training, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies, held from April 24 to May 1 in Baltimore.
Lynn Olson, Ph.D., and colleagues from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in Itasca, Illinois, used data from the 2018 AAP Annual Survey of Graduating Residents to examine the experiences of pediatric residents in caring for children injured by guns. Residents also expressed their attitudes toward counseling by pediatricians and public policies that may reduce firearm injuries.
The researchers found that 69 percent of residents reported caring for gun injuries during training (median, three injuries). Thirty percent of the residents grew up in a home with a gun. Overall, 90, 96, and 44 percent agreed that pediatricians should ask about the presence of guns in the house, should ask parents to unload/lock guns, and should ask parents to remove guns from the home, respectively. Most residents agreed with policies such as universal background checks or banning assault weapons (95 and 90 percent, respectively); few supported allowing teachers to carry guns in K-12 (14 percent). Attitudes did not vary based on whether residents had treated a gun injury. Public policy support varied based on region of training and growing up with firearms.
"Recent, tragic increases in deaths of children, teens and young adults from suicide, urban violence and mass shootings have generated renewed concern among pediatricians regarding firearm violence," Olson said in a statement.