Your Child Is On the Move: Reduce the Risk of Gun Injury

There is a clear correlation between childhood injuries and deaths due to firearms and the presence of a handgun in the home, particularly when the gun is stored loaded and unlocked. Parents who keep loaded handguns in the home often do so hoping to defend themselves against criminals. Sadly, however, these weapons are more likely to be used in the following ways:

  • Unintentionally by a child or an adult who mistakes a friend or family member for an intruder.
  • In intimate partner violence.
Although numerous educational programs have sought to teach gun safety to children, these programs fail to alter a child's behavior when it matters. A child's curiosity about a gun will overwhelm any safety lesson learned about the danger of a gun.

This brochure is designed for parents of children as young as 6 months old, when pediatricians typically discuss other household hazards; however, it is written so that practices may choose a different age for distribution. It focuses on child development and provides parents with information needed to make informed decisions. It does not contain any information about regulatory issues or legal arguments concerning the Second Amendment.

How to Use This Tool

  • Discuss handguns in the context of other common household hazards, including medications, cleaning products, and garden supplies.
  • Be aware that parents may not agree on the presence of a gun in the home. For example, if a child's mother indicates that she agrees with you, but her husband likes to have a gun in the home, suggest that she ask him to look at the brochure so that he can make an informed decision.
Helpful Hints

  • In areas of the country with high gun ownership rates, some practices offer free or reduced price gun locks.
  • Be especially aware of the potential lethality of domestic violence in homes with handguns.

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