Mid-South children impacted by gun violence on track to hit highest number in the last decade

Published: Oct. 26, 2023 at 9:24 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It is an issue that has unfortunately affected our community children impacted by gun violence.

“For the third year in a row, the CDC has released their statis on pediatric gun violence and it’s the third year in a row that it’s the number one killer in children in the United States, even above cancer and car accidents,” Dr. Derek Kelly said, pediatric orthopedic surgeon with Campbell Clinic. “We’re certainly seeing that trend in the Mid-South we’re on track for this to be the highest number of pediatric gun shots that we’ve seen in the last decade.”

Dr. Kelly joined Action News 5′s Andrew Douglas at the digital desk to talk about how prevalent it is in our community.

“These injuries don’t have to happen, and I would much prefer to go through my day without having to deal with kids who were shot needlessly,” Dr. Kelly said. “These are challenging injuries, unfortunately we see a lot of this, but that does allow the team to be very well prepared to take care of these. Our team handles this in a very professional manner, but at the end of the day when you’re sitting at home thinking about these kids you just know this is senseless and it needs to stop.”

Dr. Kelly also talked about what families can do to help decrease the likelihood of pediatric gun violence.

“What we’ve learned in the last decade is the number of handgun injuries, accidents, and assaults are really rising more rapidly than some of the others,” Dr. Kelly said. “Probably the best thing families can do, if they have a gun at home, is to leave the gun safely stored and locked. If a child is in the home and has access to an unsecured gun their risk goes way up for an accidentally injured or for that gun to be in an assault.”

Watch the full interview in the video player above.

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