Expert: More Arizona Children Dying From Guns

By Will Stone
Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2018 - 3:37pm

As Arizona lawmakers consider how to improve school safety, some public health experts caution the number of children dying due to firearms is going up.

More than 780 children died in Arizona in 2016. Firearms accounted for 36 of those deaths — an increase from the 28 deaths in 2015.

Those numbers come from the most recent data collected in the Arizona Child Fatality Review Program.  

“Firearms were the most common cause of death among adolescents in Arizona,” said Dr. Mary Rimsza, who chairs the fatality review program,.

Speaking at the Arizona Public Health Association’s 2018 Spring conference, Rimsza explained the state has not made progress in preventing deaths from firearms like it has with drowning or motor vehicles.

“It’s usually a gun that is in the home and is available to the teenager. For young kids, it may be an accidental death. A parent leaves a gun on a counter like they would a bottle of aspirin,” Rimsza said.

She said their review determined one hundred percent of the firearm deaths were preventable.

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