Keeping Kids Healthy Advice
Firearms are a leading cause of death in children. Between 1979 and 2001, over 93,000 children have died as a result of gunshot wounds. This includes both accidental and intentional injuries. Deaths resulting from firearms for children in the US under 15 years-old are 12 times higher than in 25 other industrialized countries combined.
More than 40 percent of American households with children have guns. In many of these homes, the guns are stored loaded and within the reach of a child.
The best way to prevent your child from being shot accidentally, of course, is to not have a gun in your home.
Guns should be stored unloaded and locked up. Just because you have the gun hidden, don’t assume that your child doesn’t know where it is. Remember that other adults may have guns in their homes. Speak with the parents of your children's friends to find out if they keep a gun at home. If they do own a gun that is not locked up, urge them to lock it up.
Lock and store bullets in a separate location. Children have been killed playing with guns that they thought were empty, but had one bullet left in the chamber. Ask police for advice on safe storage and gun locks.
Talk to your child about gun safety. Tell your child that if he or she sees a gun they should stop, not touch the gun, immediately leave the area where the gun is, and tell an adult. Teach them that guns are not toys and that if a friend wants to show them a gun it is not tattling to tell an adult because it can prevent an accident.