More than 130 children treated for gunshot wounds at Le Bonheur this year

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Reducing violence amongst teens is an ongoing issue in Memphis.

This week several teens were shot. And two died from their injuries.

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Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital treats many of these kids. And would like to see a reduction.

Doctors say treatment doesn’t end when kids are released.

“This is not just a Memphis problem and not just an inner-city problem. This is an everybody problem,” said Regan Williams, Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Trauma Medical Director.

Williams said they have treated 131 children for gunshot wounds this year and are on pace to surpass last year’s record.

“They’re not in school or sports, so they have more time to run around and be caught in the crossfire. That’s what we often see,” said Williams.

Williams attributes the spike in kids injured by firearms to unsafe storage as well.

“Everyone in the community needs to look at safe storage. As well as how do we decrease community violence,” said Williams.

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Williams said if your child is a victim, they may suffer from acute stress disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Symptoms may include not sleeping well, being anxious, having outbursts, and a lack of interest in things they once enjoyed.

“If you see any of those signs, it’s important to get them in to see their pediatrician, or they can come to our trauma clinic and get mental health counseling,” said Williams.

So far this year, 25 children have died violently. Eighteen of those deaths are classified as murders and as seven negligent homicides.