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Norton Children's Hospital staff honor child gunshot victims

As a kick-off to Injury-Free week, staff at the children's hospital lit candles and discussed gun safety tips in an effort to reduce accidental shootings.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Too many children in our communities have been victims to gun violence. 

Taking a closer look at the numbers, in 2019, Norton Healthcare treated 26 children for accidental gunshot wounds. In 2020, that number went up to 60. As we near the end of 2021, Norton has treated 34 kids with gunshot wounds. 

According to LMPD, gunshot wounds have killed 21 children and injured 85 this year.

Norton Children's Hospital is honoring all of these victims, working to educate the public about proper safety and remembering the lives lost with a candle lighting ceremony. 

"People sometimes say accidents happen," said Dr. Brit Anderson. "We're letting ourselves off a little too easy there I think. We know injuries are preventable."

Doctors and hospital staff are asking the community to practice safe firearm safety by storing firearms unloaded and locked with ammunition locked away separately.

"This is unacceptable," said Dr. Anderson of the lives lost this year. "We can change the trajectory and save lives. They deserve a strong community of adult protectors." 

The candle lighting ceremony was just one of the many events for the hospital's first injury-free week, where they'll also focus on carseat safety and stop the bleed classes. 

"These issues deserve more attention than just one day," said Norton Children's CAO.  "We've dubbed this week as Norton Injury-Free week because we hope to see more children free of injuries."

The Big Four Bridge will glow green this week in honor of child safety.  

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