In older children, the background changes. Most of those between 15 and 19 were shot in an intentional assault, according to Silver's research. This age group makes up the largest number of victims, more than 83 percent.
The vast majority of children hospitalized for gunshots, 87.6 percent, were male. More than half of the children who had been hospitalized were African-American, CNN reported.
These injuries cost $130 million in hospital bills in 2012, an average of $22,644 per stay, CNN reported. Most of the children were hospitalized for six days due to the severity of their injuries, and most needed extensive follow-up treatment once they were released. In addition to physical therapy, many need mental health care.
Dr. John Leventhal, author of the study on the 2009 data, thinks that if there were indeed 20 percent fewer children shot in 2012, it could be a significant finding. However, he cautions that three years of data is too little time to detect a trend. "You can't get too excited about a decrease yet," he told CNN.
Data on all these topics are published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. President Donald Trump's budget proposed eliminating it and merging it with the National Institutes of Health, which also would face a huge budget cut if the Trump proposal went through, CNN reported.
"This is really important information that gives us important insight into what is happening with child health in the United States, and this study shows us another reason why we need to keep it," Leventhal told CNN.