Your Health: June 20

Lauren Green has the stories in this segment of Your Health.

Nearly 6,000 children in the United States receive medical treatment each year for a gun-related injury – and about one-fifth of those injuries are unintentional. A study in the journal Pediatrics found between 2012 and 2014, nearly 1,300 children died each year from a gun-related injury in the U.S. experts say gun-owners need to make sure they are safely securing and storing their firearms away from children.

Raising the age to purchase tobacco is okay with many teens. Researchers asked more than 17,000 children between 11 and 18 if they supported a program that strives to raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco to 21 – and nearly two-thirds of those surveyed supported it. Study authors say their work, which also appears in the journal Pediatrics, supports the national trend showing younger teens and girls specifically are less likely to use tobacco.

Using acupuncture in emergency departments may be a safe alternative to pain-relieving drugs for some patients. The study in the Medical Journal of Australia looked at more than 500 patients with low back pain, finding acupuncture was as effective as pain medicine in providing long-term relief for emergency room patients in considerable pain. The team notes it also showed neither pills or acupuncture were a cure-all, as neither provided adequate immediate relief. Study authors urge further research to determine what patients would be most responsive to the practice.

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