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Firearms Injury Prevention

Firearms Injury Prevention
 
Because children are curious by nature and will eagerly explore their environment, the safest thing to do is not keep a gun at home.  Nearly all childhood unintentional shooting deaths occur in or around the home.  Most of the shooting deaths involve guns that have been kept loaded and accessible to children.
 
Safety Messages
 
1.      Tell a grown-up if you find or see a gun.

Guns are dangerous and children should never touch guns or bullets.  If a child ever sees bullets, a gun, or anything that looks like a gun, he or she should leave the area and tell a grown-up immediately.

2.      Stay away from guns and bullets.

If there is a gun at home, it should be unloaded and locked away from the sight and reach of a child.  Ammunition should be locked up and stored separately.
 
Know the Facts  
 
In 1995, 170 children between the ages of 5 and 14 died from unintentional firearms injuries, principally during recreational activities or at home.  Source: National Safety Council

Guns are a leading cause of injury and death to children.  To protect our children, we childproof our homes to make sure that dangerous chemicals, prescription drugs, and sharp objects are locked away.  And we tell our children that they should not talk to strangers or spend time with kids who are breaking the law or taking drugs.  The same steps must be taken to keep children from handgun violence.  Source: Center to Prevent Handgun Violence

There are an estimated 200 million firearms in U.S. homes, including 60 million handguns.  Nearly half of U.S. homes have some type of firearm and one in four has a handgun.  Unrealistic perceptions of children’s capabilities and behavior tendencies with regards to guns are common, such as misunderstanding a child’s ability to gain access to and fire a gun, distinguish between real and toy guns, make good judgements about handling a gun, and consistently follow the rules about gun safety.  Source: National SAFE KIDS Campaign