Child Safety: Guns and Firearms

Topic Overview

Small children, even some 1-year-olds, are able to pull the trigger on a gun. Also, older children or adults can mishandle guns or firearms and injure others. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to avoid keeping guns and firearms in the home or car. If this is not possible, guns and firearms should be kept away from children and stored:1, 2

  • Unloaded.
  • Locked in a secure location, with the keys hidden.
  • With the safety device on.
  • Separate from ammunition. It's also important to lock up the ammunition.

Talk with your children about gun safety. Be sure that they know to stay away from guns in a friend's home or elsewhere and to tell you if they see or find a gun.

Talk with the parents of your children's friends. Find out if they have guns in their homes. If they do, ask that they keep them unloaded, locked up, and out of children's reach.

References

Citations

  1. American Academy of Pediatrics (2012). Gun safety: Keeping children safe. The Injury Prevention Program (TIPP). Available online:
  2. American Academy of Pediatrics (accessed August 2012). Handguns in the home. Available online:

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Last Revised November 26, 2012

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