In addition to direct effects on health, the COVID-19 pandemic has had indirect effects through stress and economic hardships imposed by mitigation efforts such as lockdowns. For children, the indirect health outcomes may be comparable with direct effects, because SARS-CoV-2–related morbidity and mortality are concentrated at older ages.
One potential indirect health outcome for children is gun-related deaths owing to increased psychological strain in families in combination with school closures, which lead to greater time spent by children at home, where guns are often kept. Although studies have documented increased gun-related deaths during the pandemic, only few studies have considered children and those focused on early stages of the pandemic.1- 4
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CME Disclosure Statement: Unless noted, all individuals in control of content reported no relevant financial relationships. If applicable, all relevant financial relationships have been mitigated.
Accepted for Publication: June 19, 2022.
Published: August 4, 2022. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.25339
Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the CC-BY License. © 2022 Peña PA et al. JAMA Network Open.
Corresponding Author: Anupam B. Jena, MD, PhD, Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, 180 Longwood Ave, Boston, MA 02115 (email@example.com).
Author Contributions: Dr Peña had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
Concept and design: All authors.
Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: All authors.
Drafting of the manuscript: All authors.
Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.
Statistical analysis: All authors.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures: Dr Jena reported receiving consulting fees from Bioverativ, Merck/Sharp/Dohme, Janssen, Edwards Life Sciences, Novartis, Amgen, Eisai, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Celgene, Sanofi Aventis, Precision Health Economics, and Analysis Group outside the submitted work; Dr Jena also reported receiving income from hosting the podcast Freakonomics, M.D., and from book rights to Doubleday Books outside the submitted work. No other disclosures were reported.
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