Paediatric Gun Safety


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Safe Firearm Action Plan for Child Injury Prevention

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Paediatric Gun Safety

  1. Injury is the #1 killer of children and teens in the United States. In 2009, more than9,000 youth age 0-19 died from unintentional injuries in the United States. Millionsmore children suffer injuries requiring treatment in the emergency department. Childinjury is predictable and preventable. It is also among the most under-recognizedpublic health problems facing our country today. Source: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2012
  2. THE FIVE LEADING CAUSES AND NUMBER OF CHILDDEATHS BY AGE GROUP – U.S., 2009 Source: National Vital Statistics System from the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013.
  3. UNINTENTIONAL INJURIES ARE THE LEADING CAUSE OFDEATH IN CHILDRENIn particular, injuries caused by firearms andaccidental discharge of firearms.Research shows guns in homes are a serious risk to familiesand communities especially when they are not stored properly.These injuries are especially tragic when they occur to youngchildren who find a gun and are unaware of the dangers theypose. Source: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  4. FIREARM PREVALENCE STATISTICS• Approximately 50% of all US homes have a firearm.• Over 50% of handguns are stored loaded or with the ammunition .• Keeping a gun in the home increases the chances of a homicide by three times and increases the chances of a suicide by five times.• A gun kept in a household is 43 times more likely to kill someone that the family knows than to kill someone in self-defense.• 77% of violent deaths in schools are caused by firearms. Source: American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  5. CHILDHOOD FIREARM DEATH AND INJURY STATISTICSIn 1999, 3,385 children and youth ages 0-19 years were killed with a gun.This includes homicides, suicides, and unintentional injuries.This is equivalent to about 9 deaths per day, a figure commonly used byjournalists. The 3,385 firearms-related deaths for age group 0-19 years breaksdown to:• 214 unintentional• 1,078 suicides• 1,990 homicides• 83 for which the intent could not be determined• 20 due to legal interventionOf the total firearms-related deaths:• 73 were of children under five years old• 416 were children 5-14 years old• 2,896 were 15-19 years old Source: The 2002 edition of Injury Facts from the National Safety Council
  6. CHILDHOOD FIREARM DEATH AND INJURY STATISTICS• Everyday 11 people under 19 are killed by firearms.• 1968 to 1991 study, firearm-related deaths in 1991 exceeded the number of motor vehicle related deaths in the United States.• Firearm related injuries are the second leading cause of death for children ages 10-14 yrs.• It is estimated that the number of children sustaining non-fatal firearm injuries is four to five times greater than the number of children who die from such injuries each year.• Handguns account for the majority of firearm related injuries in the United States. UNICEF, No Guns, Please, We Are Children, 2001
  7. FIREARM SAFETY TIPS FOR THE HOME• Obey the law. Make sure you understand and follow all laws regarding firearm handling and safety.• Before you buy a gun, consider less dangerous ways to keep your family and property safe, such as burglar alarms, window locks, dogs, etc.• Dont buy a gun unless you have the necessary knowledge to use it safely.• Firearms should be stored unloaded and in a locked place.• Firearms should be locked up in a place that children cannot reach since children often have trouble telling the difference between a toy gun and a real gun.• Bullets should be locked up in a place separate from where guns are secured. University of Michigan Health System, 2012
  8. FIREARM SAFETY TIPS FOR THE HOME CON’T • Trigger locks can be a helpful additional precaution for unloaded firearms. They must be applied to an unloaded firearm. • Some locks can be removed in as few as 6 seconds. • If you keep an unlocked gun under your pillow at night, lock it in the morning before you go to work. • Be a good role model. In addition to talking with your children, show them how to treat firearms safely by treating guns with respect yourself. University of Michigan Health System, 2012
  9. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN FIREARM AWARENESS• Explain to your children that guns are dangerous and that they should never touch guns without your permission.• Talk to your children about the difference between the violence that they see on television or in the movies and real-life violence, where adults and children really get hurt. Children watch an average of 45 violent acts on TV each day. Parents should regulate the amount of violence children are exposed to in the media.• Teach your children to never throw, drop, or otherwise mishandle a firearm.• Teach your children to never point a firearm at another person. Never point a firearm in the direction of anything except a proper target at a range or while hunting..• Teach your children that if they find a gun anywhere they should not touch it and should leave the area and go tell an adult. If they are in school and know of other children carrying a handgun they should tell an adult.• Teach your children not to show off firearms to friends and schoolmates. And, do not tell friends and schoolmates that there are firearms in the house. Do not take a firearm from its place without a parent present.• Playing with toy guns may contribute to unintentional shootings. Educate children the difference between role playing and real-life.• Find out if there are guns in the homes where your children play. If so, talk to the adults in the house about the dangers of guns to their families. Remind extended family members and other caregivers that they are responsible for safely storing their firearms. Make sure grandparents, aunts and uncles, babysitters and others have their guns stored in locked cases or disabled with trigger locks. Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 2012
  10. “KIDS AND GUNS DON’T MIX”• With Gun ownership comes responsibility of keeping these weapons out of the hands of children to prevent unintentional injury or death.• “The spread of small arms creates a serious global problem and requires an equally urgent response because the lives and futures of children are at stake. These weapons have extinguished more young lives than they have protected.” – Carol Bellamy, Executive Director, UNICEF• Firearm Safety is every one’s responsibility; including emergency medicine, pediatric physicians, nurses, child life specialists and hospital staff. We can all do as much as we can to educate parents as to these hazards and prevent childhood firearm injury or death American Academy of Pediatrics, 2010.
  11. FURTHER INFORMATION & RESOURCESAmerican Academy of Pediatrics at http://www.aap.orgAmerican Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at http://www.aacap.orgThe Center For Disease Control and Prevention, 2012. Retrieved from:, No Guns, Please, We Are Children, 2001, available at Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 2012. Retrieved from: Safety Council, 2002. Retrieved from: athStatistics.aspxstatistic