New dashboard focuses on impact of firearms on children and youth


Local Memorial Day celebrations were marred by news of shootings near South Seattle parks that sent 2 children and a mother to Harborview on Monday evening.  At about the same time, at a park in Renton, a third child was critically wounded by what hospital staff believed was a gunshot. While all of this is bad news, we can take some solace in the facts that (a) as of the latest report, none of Monday’s victims have died, and (b) Public Health – Seattle & King County (PHSKC) is paying attention.

Crying Child.PNG

PHSKC has just released The impact of firearms on King County children and youth, an interactive data platform that focuses primarily on firearm-related deaths among King County residents younger than age 18. The dashboard is the second in a series of new firearm-related data products. 

 Building on the recently released chart pack, “Firearm deaths among residents of King County and Seattle,” the new platform offers a more detailed look at firearm-related deaths of children and youth, including what is known about the origin of the firearm used, circumstances surrounding these deaths, and firearm storage practices for adults with and without children.

 For example, did you know that …?

  • Between 1999 and 2017, 98 children younger than age 18 died by firearms in King County.  

  • Of firearms used in child and youth suicides, 70% came from a parent, stepparent, or grandparent.

  • 41% of King County firearm owners reported storing their firearms locked and unloaded (the safest form of storage).

 For ease of use in presentations, each tab of the dashboard can be downloaded as PowerPoint slides. The next data product in the series will focus on non-fatal firearm injuries of youth and adults in King County.  By tracking the circumstances of these tragic events, Public Health goes beyond the news headlines in ways that may, in time, make our beautiful public parks safe for everyone.

Children and adults at Seattle waterfront park

Children and adults at Seattle waterfront park

For additional data about youth and firearms, see the Communities Count indicators “Carrying weapons at school” and “Homes with guns.”