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Child gun deaths up during pandemic; local figures follow national trend

A .40 caliber handgun
A .40 caliber handgun(WPTA)
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 5:53 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - The number of children in the United States who were killed in gun incidents rose significantly during the pandemic, and a similar pattern is playing out in northeast Indiana.

recent study finds that gun injuries to children has roughly doubled in the 18 months since the onset of COVID-19.

In Fort Wayne, five gunfire deaths of children were reported from January 2018 through June 2019 -- an 18-month span. But that number grew to 9 from the start of the pandemic to fall 2021.

Dr. Tony GiaQuinta is a pediatrician with Parkview Health. He said the figures reflect one of the ways COVID-19 has affected society beyond the direct toll of the virus.

“We are seeing kids that have been taken out of some of their activities -- that are taken out of a lot things that give them joy and happiness,” he said. “And honestly, when those go away, that really pulls the rug underneath them, and does cause an increase in mental health issues like depression.

Free gun locks are available right now at the Parkview Safety Store, located at 1818 Carew Street. The store is open Tuesdays only, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Call 260-373-7201 for additional information.

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