The CDC’s 2010 Homicide and Accidental Death Data Is Out

Someone came by searching for “children killed in gun accidents trend.”

That depends in large part on your cutoff age for childhood. The International Standard is the 16th birthday, but various “interest groups” like Handgun Control, Inc and Media Matters for America have been known to use 65 as the cutoff age.

In the United States, the Center For Disease Control’s WISQARS website keeps the “official count,” derived from death certificates. The latest CDC information available at this time is for 2010.

Since most are unfamiliar with statistics, note that small year to year variations in victimization numbers are completely normal.

Please also be aware that the United States population has increased from 245 million in 1988 to 311 million in 2010, with a corresponding increase in the number of children who have not yet achieved their 16th birthday. So the decline in the rate of fatal firearms accidents is much more dramatic than the raw numbers given here. Even the “flat numbers” of the last decade represent a substantial drop in the victimization rate.

Finally, for the last decade, the major source of variation has been childhood suicides coroners or medical examiners have written off as accidents. The actual trend since 2000 has been a rather dramatic decline.That said, let us turn to the CDC website linked above:

For the years specified for which data is available, the WISQARS website gives the latest data available as


And the bottom line is simple enough. From 2007 forward, the incidence of fatal childhood firearms accidents has been less than 1 per 100,000 child years of exposure to firearm in the house.


About Stranger

Extranos Alley is a Collaborate effort to provide up to information on the relationship between restrictive gun laws and violent crime; as well as other related topics. While emphasis is on United States gun laws and crime, we also provide data on crime trends world wide.
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5 Responses to The CDC’s 2010 Homicide and Accidental Death Data Is Out

  1. Mikael says:

    I suspect the vast majority of childhood deaths by firearms is gang on gang (and some may even be justifiable homicides, self-defense vs robbers or home invaders in the 14-16 age group). I don’t have the numbers, but I suspect less than 10% is actual accidental shootings / neglected firearm used by children. Which puts accidental deaths for children, to firearms… lower than deaths from bicycle accidents where a motor vehicle was not involved.

  2. Stranger says:

    Yes, the majority of child and young adult firearms deaths are criminal gang related.

    The CDC’s numbers are obtained from a survey of death certificates, and are considered accurate. I will have more on the numbers after we have a few more days to examine them in detail.


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