LOS ANGELES, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 1,300 children died and 6,000 were treated for gunshot wounds in average each year in the United States, according to a latest study on gun violence and children published on Monday.

The study published in the Journal Pediatrics said that firearm-related deaths are the third leading cause of death overall among American children aged 1 to 17 years, and are the second leading cause of injury-related deaths in this age group, surpassed only by motor vehicle injury deaths.

Each day, an average of 3.5 children are shot dead and another 15.8 are treated in hospital emergency departments for gunshot wounds in the United States. The National Survey of Children's Exposure to Violence indicated that 4.2 percent of children under 17 years old in the United States have witnessed a shooting in the past year.

The study revealed that boys, older children, and minority children are disproportionately affected by gun violence in the United States. Boys accounted for 82 percent of all child firearm deaths.

Older children (aged 13-17 years) had a rate of fatal firearm injury that was more than 12 times higher than the rate for younger children (aged 0-12 years).

According to the study, African American children have the highest rates of firearm mortality overall, and this disparity is largely a function of differences between racial and ethnic groups in firearm homicide.