WASHINGTON, Sept. 5 (UPI) -- More than 20,000 people injured by air and paintball guns were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2008, federal health officials say.
Officials at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, said the 20,000 injuries in 2008 is a 20 percent drop in emergency room visits for injuries caused by air and paintball guns in 2006.
The report on air and paintball gun injuries found:
-- About 60 percent of the injuries occurred in children and adolescents 17 and younger. More than 25 percent were for children ages 10-14.
-- Males were five times more likely than females to be treated for air and paintball gun injuries.
-- The injuries were higher in rural areas, 92 per 1 million population, than in urban areas, 61 per 1 million population.
-- Low-income children and adults were nearly three times more likely than those with those with higher-incomes to be treated.
-- One in four visits for air and paintball guns were billed as uninsured, one-third of visits were billed to private insurance and another one-third billed to Medicaid.
The report used data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample.