Around one-third of the homes that are located in the U.S. have some type of firearm. Guns that are in homes can increase the chance of unintentional injuries and deaths caused by firearms for children. Shootings that are accidental cause a significant part of all deaths involving firearms in children 14 years old and younger.
The inability of children to access guns in the house and to use it is a frequent issue. Even a child as young as 3 could have enough power to pull the trigger on a gun. Children, unlike adults, can’t discern the difference between real guns as opposed to toy guns. Additionally, children aren’t in a position to make informed decisions regarding how to use a gun.
To protect your child from guns, think about whether it’s worth the risk of keeping guns within your home. If you decide to keep a firearm, be sure to keep the gun locked in a safe, empty, and away from the reach of children. Make sure that ammunition is kept in a secure area from the actual firearm. Also, discuss with your children about the risks associated with firearms. Instruct your child not to play with or touch guns , and to notify an adult when they see firearms.
What are the most dangerous situations involving firearms?
Be aware of the circumstances that could increase the risk of your child suffering accidental firearm injuries could aid in preventing one. Risky situations are:
- Guns that are accessible in the home. The parents often underestimate their children’s capability to access the gun in the home or the child’s capability in pulling the trigger.
- Accessible firearms in another house. Even if the house you live in isn’t equipped with firearms the neighbor or friend could have an open firearm inside the house.
- Teen boys. The majority of children who die accidentally using firearms are males. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has homes with teenage boys to be at greater risk of injury from accidents and death caused by firearms.
- Ammunition and firearms that are stored together. When firearms are kept in a locked compartment with ammunition or left loaded, it significantly increases the risk of injury or the possibility of death from firearms. Around one-third to half of firearm owners keep their guns fully loaded and ready for use at least for a small portion of the time.
- Insufficient supervision. The majority of accidental shootings with firearms by children occur during the times that children aren’t being watched like in the afternoons or on weekends, as well as during the summer months.
- High-risk homes. As per the AAP houses with greater risk of injury or death due to firearms are those where people are drinking alcohol or illicit drugs.
What is the definition of firearm security?
The only method to protect your child from injuries and deaths resulting from accidents by firearms in your home is to get rid of all firearms from your home. But, there are other ways to increase the security of your child when it comes to firearms. These include:
- Keep the firearm in a safe place. It is recommended to store firearms unloaded and not cocked inside a locked container.
- It is recommended that the gun be kept separately from ammunition.
- The ammunition and firearm should be secured in a secure location only to parents and away from the children’s reach.
- If you are using a revolver, secure an additional padlock over the strap that is on top of the gun. This will stop that the gun’s cylinder from shutting.
- For pistols, you can utilize the trigger lock. Do not leave a gun in the open even for a short time. This is especially true when cleaning it.
- Make sure your child is educated. Making sure your child is aware of the dangers associated with guns could aid in preventing accidental injuries and deaths caused by firearms. Parents should instruct a child to take the following actions when they encounter a gun:
- Don’t touch the firearm.
- Get out of the area.
- Inform an adult immediately.
- Contact your relatives or friends as well as neighbors. Even if your home is not a gun-free zone children may be visiting an additional home where guns are stored. Always inquire with friends, neighbors, and family members to ensure that they are able to safely store their guns and out of the their reach for children.
- Utilize other safety devices. Security devices, like locks for guns, gun locks and gun safes must be utilized for every firearm that is in the home. The safety devices that are fitted to firearms can stop most fatal accidental shootings among children five and under.