Ask about guns in the homes where your child plays

Ask about guns in the homes where your child plays

We can all reduce the odds of unintentional shootings.

Guns hurt and kill; It’s a simple fact. While most firearm injuries and deaths occur as a result of assault or suicide, unintended injuries occur all the time, including and among children. In the six-year period between January 1, 2015 and December 31, 2020, there were at least 2,070 accidental shootings by children under the age of 18, resulting in 765 deaths and 1,366 injuries, according to the Everytown Research and Policy.

If you’re a parent — or even if you aren’t — you can help reduce the odds of a shooting incident in a number of ways.

Why is it important to talk about gun safety with children?

Children are curious by nature, and guns are omnipresent in the media and video games that children see all the time. Not many really understand how dangerous guns are, and most don’t know how to tell if a handgun is loaded.

according to Pew Research Center, three out of 10 Americans own a handgun, and four out of 10 live in a home with one. So it is not surprising that 34% of children in the United States live in a home with at least one firearm. While it is recommended that guns be stored in a closed position, with ammunition locked separately, less than half of American families with children and rifles actually do so.

What steps can parents take about gun safety?

If you have a gun and have a child in your house, please lock the gun and lock the ammo separately. And make sure your child doesn’t know how to open one or both of them. Children know more than most adults realize.

If your child is playing in other children’s homes, think about — and ask — about gun safety. Many people feel uncomfortable when asked; They worry that the question could be seen as an invasion of privacy, or as judicial. But it is not one. It’s simple security.

The best way to do this is to make it a routine, and make it a part of other questions you should ask before sending your child over to someone else’s home. You might say, “Hey, I always have a few questions to ask before sending my baby somewhere, just to be safe.” Then, you can ask things like:

  • “Who will be with them at home, and how do you deal with supervision?”
  • “Do you have a pool?” (If yes, more questions about safety and supervision are important.)
  • “Does anyone smoke?” (This is especially important if your child has asthma or other breathing problems.)
  • “Do you have pets?” (This is important for allergies, if your child is afraid of animals, and to see if there are any animals who might be aggressive.)
  • “Does anyone have an allergy?” (So ​​your child doesn’t bring any foods that might cause problems.)

There may be other questions to ask, depending on your situation. For guns, the question you should ask is:

  • “Do you have an open gun in your house?”

If the answer is yes, you have options. You can either ask them to lock it please (and ask more questions about supervision), or if you’re not sure the family can or will lock it, say, “I’m so sorry, but I won’t be able to send my baby home.” Be realistic and gentle. If it’s a play date, you can offer to have it in your home, or take the kids somewhere else like a local park.

They might be surprised or upset, for sure. But this is a risk worth taking to protect your child’s safety, and possibly even his life.

#guns #homes #child #plays

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