Los Angeles Times

Twenty children or adolescents were hospitalized for firearm-related injuries every day in 2009, and 453 died of their wounds, a new report says.

The study provides one of the most comprehensive recent efforts to tally the number of children hurt nationally in gun-related incidents. It was published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

A national database of patients younger than 20 who were admitted to hospitals in 2009 shows that boys represented nearly 90 percent of the total, and that the rate of gunshot-related hospitalizations for African-American males was 10 times that of white males.

Blacks ages 15 to 19 were 13 times more likely than their white peers to be injured by gunfire. And 70 percent of all black children hospitalized for gun injury (compared with 32 percent of all white children injured by firearms) were classified as victims of assault. Latino children and adolescents were three times likelier than white children to be hospitalized with a firearm-related injury.

The database used in the latest research samples a larger number of hospitals than the most commonly used tracking method and is thus likely to generate a more accurate accounting of firearmsí toll on children and adolescents.