June is Gun Violence Awareness Month
Recent events have made this issue even more prevalent, and parents and caregivers are looking for ways to protect their children from firearms related injuries. With many firearm injuries happening in homes, it’s critical to know the environment children are spending time in before sending them to others’ homes for visits, parties, and play dates.
As a parent, you may not realize what a serious risk a gun in the home is, especially for children. Firearms are now one of the leading causes of death for U.S. children and teens.
Did you know that thirty-three percent of the homes in U.S. with children have gun(s)? In fact, an estimated 4.6 million children live with unsecured loaded firearms in their homes. Another very scary statistic is that even young toddlers can find an unlocked gun in a home, and they are strong enough to pull the trigger. The reality is that having unsecured firearms in the home increases the risk of unintentional shooting, suicides, and homicides.
Hiding a gun is not enough!
Studies show children are naturally curious, even about a firearm they have been warned not to touch. Kids are safer when the firearms are is unloaded and secured in a lockbox or safe. Ammunition should be secured away separately. However, kids are safest when firearms are stored outside the home.
Just as you would ask about pets, allergies, supervision, and other safety issues before your child visits another home, add one more important question
“Is there an unsecured gun in your house?”
Talk to your children – Remind your kids that if they ever come across a gun, they must stay away from it and tell an adult immediately.