Firearms are a leading cause of paediatric mortality in the United States. This study examines the contributing factors of racial disparity and disproportionality among paediatric firearm decedents aged 0–17 years.
We used the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) to assess the individual and incident-level circumstances of paediatric firearm homicides from 2014 to 2018 in 17 US states.
Among 1085 paediatric firearm homicides, non-Hispanic blacks (NHB) died at a rate three times greater than their proportion in the general population; they were nine times as likely to die by firearm homicide as non-Hispanic whites (NHW). NHW children were more often the victims of firearm homicide perpetrated by a parent/caregiver, and of homicide-suicides.
Violence interruption programmes among NHB youth, and family-based interventions among NHW youth may be effective in preventing firearm homicide and homicide-suicide. Systematic investigations into firearm homicide perpetrators are necessary to better understand observed racial disparities.