New Study: Teen gun-related deaths becoming an epidemic - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

New Study: Teen gun-related deaths becoming an epidemic

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

It was a tragic weekend in Georgia; authorities reported two separate accidental self-inflicted teen shootings in two different counties.

A report published Monday said gun-related shooting accidents with kids are becoming all too common.

From 2001 to 2010, nearly 30,000 children up to age 19 died of gunshot-related injuries according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A report released in the November Pediatrics says males aged 15 to 19 are more at risk of accidentally shooting themselves.

Some are calling childhood gun-related deaths an epidemic. A report released in November's Pediatrics says childhood gunshot injuries are more severe, require major surgery, and have higher mortality rates.

Over the weekend an 18-year-old West Point teenager accidentally shot himself while playing with a revolver-- according to police reports. He's still fighting for his life in an area hospital.

Also, the family of a Macon, Georgia 13-year-old boy who reportedly died from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot to the head, are preparing for his funeral.

Cliff Cargill a National Rifle Association Certified Firearms instructor says teaching kids not to point guns at one another or themselves could make the difference between life and death.

"The NRA big three: One, never point the gun in an unsafe direction. Two always keep your finger outside the trigger guard until you're ready to shoot," Cargill said.

Studies show a child as young as three has the finger strength to pull a trigger

"And the third which I think is really important in this case, is to keep the gun unloaded until you're ready to use it," said Cargill.

Although reports show a decline in gun toting homes talking with children about gun safety is becoming more necessary.   

What can you do to prevent your child from being a victim? Kids are encouraged to stop, don't touch, leave the area, and tell an adult if they encounter a gun.

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