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.