Welcome to the AAP Section on Medical Students, Residents, and Fellowship Trainees (SOMSRFT) 2013-2014 Advocacy Campaign Webpage
P.A.V.E. the Way to Firearm Injury Prevention (Pediatricians Against Violence Everywhere)
Every child has the right to live in a safe home, play in the safety of others’ homes and live without fear of firearms.
This statement is at the heart of our section’s annual advocacy campaign: P.A.V.E. (Pediatricians Against Violence Everywhere) the Way to Firearm Injury Prevention.
Gun violence is a public health issue that profoundly affects children. Pediatricians see the devastating effects of firearms firsthand in the form of suicides and homicides, and by treating those who have been exposed to gun violence at school, in the community or at home. Personal stories as well as the recent tragedies in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo., have galvanized pediatricians to address gun violence and firearm injury prevention through advocacy.
According to the Center for Disease Control, firearm injury is in the top three causes of death among youth, causing twice as many deaths as cancer, five times as many as heart disease, and 15 times as many as infections. Pediatricians routinely advocate and educate parents regarding the importance of car seats, bike helmets, seat belts, child abuse and drowning prevention, and should also counsel about firearm injury prevention. This is not a political issue; not about “gun control” or “gun rights,” firearm injury prevention is about keeping kids and teens safe.
Below are numerous resources for use at the clinic, community, state, and federal levels to address three main areas of advocacy with the goal of keeping kids and teens safe:
- Support common sense firearm legislation that protects kids
- Provide education and research about firearms
- Expand mental health screening and access to treatment
PAVE also aims to highlight that approximately seven young people die each day from gun violence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To raise awareness of this sobering statistic, we encourage our members to organize an event, send an email, engage on social media or have an advocacy day on the seventh day of every month from November 2013 to October 2014.
We hope this year’s campaign will have a far-reaching impact on firearm injury prevention that will be seen for years to come. Check back for updates throughout the year.
Where you can get involved: Clinic, Community, State, and Federal
- Provide education and research about firearms, physician firearm counseling is important.
- Discuss firearm injury prevention during well child checks and office visits: use this firearm injury prevention smart phrase for your clinic notes.
- Start the discussion, bring awareness to the issue! Use the AAP Policy Statement to help.
- ASK: Are guns in the homes where your children play? For more information visit the Center to Prevent Youth Violence (CPVY): Asking Saves Kids (ASK) campaign.
- Provide Handouts:
- Additional online resources available at Healthy Children.org.
- Screen for depression and mental illness, recognize the effects of toxic stress in a child who has experienced or witnessed violence. Make appropriate and timely referrals. Visit AAP Mental Health Initiatives.
General Advocacy Information
Shana Godfred-Cato, DO
Ashley Lucke, MD
Lisa Costello, MD
This campaign is supported by the AAP Insurance Program & USI Affinity.