Although most parents practice good safety behaviors, such as using car seats and keeping poisons out of the reach of children, a 2000 study published in the American Journal of Public Health shows about 35% of children in the United States live in homes that have at least one handgun or firearm.
Nearly all childhood accidental shooting deaths occur in or near a home.
- 43% of households with children have at least one firearm that is not stored in locked location and does not have a trigger lock (or similar device) in place.
- 9% have one or more firearms stored unlocked and loaded.
- 4% store firearms unlocked, unloaded and with ammunition.
What does this mean to you?
- Children who live in households with guns are at greater risk for unintentional firearm injuries. The best way to keep your child safe is to remove all guns from your home.
- If you do decide to keep a gun in your home, store it unloaded in a locked place away from children.
- Store the ammunition separately from the gun in a locked container, and store the keys in a safe spot.
Tips for gun safety
- Talk to your child about gun safety and teach them to never play with guns.
- Tell your children if they see a gun to leave the area and tell an adult.
- Never buy a toy gun that looks like real guns.
- Supervise children with pellet and BB guns because they can still injure and kill children.
- Always keep your gun locked and unloaded.
- Always store ammunition separately.
- Always use trigger locks.
- Always hide cabinet keys where children cannot find them.
- Never let children know where guns are stored.
- Never let children handle a gun while unattended – not even for a second.