Firearm Injury is a grave concern for pediatric caregivers. With over 80 million handguns and an estimated 250 million firearms overall in the United States, children every day are exposed to the possibility of these injuries. Although the problem has improved somewhat over the past decade, there are still approximately 10-12 firearm deaths daily to children under the age of 19. This correlates with over 11,000 deaths in people of all ages yearly.
There are many theories as to why our American society has spawned such a high risk environment for gun violence. Gun ownership is guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment and this immediately sets up for hard debate and fiery discussions when any type of control or restriction on gun purchases or ownership is even proposed. Informing yourself about the facts regarding gun ownership and the risk to kids usually avoids this contentiousness by stating simply that “Kids and Guns Don’t Mix.”
With Gun ownership comes responsibility of keeping these weapons out of the hands of children. Emergency medicine, family and pediatric physicians can do much to educate parents as to these hazards. The following are some useful facts and information that you can give to parents and kids alike to bring light, rather than heat, on the controversial topic of “GUN SAFETY.”
Parent's Safety Checklist
Firearm Injury Prevention Links
Goods for Guns has taken 6,533 handguns, rifles and shotguns off the streets of Allegheny County in the past seven years. It is the most successful, longest-lived program of its kind in the United States and provides a model for the nation.