Firearms Leading Cause Of Injury-Related Deaths For Young NYC Teens

September 9, 2014 | Marina Galperina

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has released an annual report [PDF] on injury-related deaths of New Yorkers aged 0 to 18. The most recent report covers data on the 1,613 deaths occurring between 2002 and 2011. Overall, injury-related deaths were highest for black non-Hispanic boys living in “very-high-poverty neighborhoods,” the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Most children under the age of 1 have died from sleep-related injuries. For children between 1 and 14, motor vehicle-related deaths were most common; of those children aged 5 to 9, 80% were pedestrians and most died after “emerging from between parked vehicles.” Though motor-vehicle related injuries are the most frequent causes of death for New York kids aged 1 to 17, NYC’s overall child injury death rate is 39% lower than that of the United States (8.9 deaths per 100,000 NYC children vs 14.6 deaths per 100,000 US children). Children are four times more likely to die in car crashes in the rest of the country.

The most sobering detail concerns young teangers aged 15 to 17. Of 494 deaths recorded between 2002 and 2011, 200 resulted from firearm-related injuries. However, it is also 20% lower than the national rate. A third of the national firearm-related deaths were suicides, compared to 9% in NYC.

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Of these deaths, 91% were homicide, higher than the national rate (5.9 vs 5.2 deaths per 100,000 youth), but homicide gun deaths for youth aged 15 to 17 were higher in other metropolitan areas — in Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas.

As for neighborhood death count, Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant-Crown Heights neighborhood fared the worst.

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(Charts: Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Photo: @mynameisgeebs)