When your child is invited into a friend’s home to play it’s easy to ask questions about pets, things like trampolines that could cause injuries, and inform the parent of any food or other allergies. You probably meet the parents first, and learn a little bit about the family (siblings, etc) and who will be home when your child is there. Do you ever ask if there are guns in the home? Do you just assume that there are not and maybe you don’t know how to ask?
You should be asking about guns in every home that your children play in.
- 1 in 3 homes with children have guns – many are unlocked or loaded
- 3 in 4 children ages 5-14 know where the gun is kept in their home
- 80% of unintentional firearm deaths of kids under 15 occur in the home
- 9 children and teens are shot EVERY day in gun accidents
Just talking to your children about firearm safety is not enough. Too many times curious children decide to play with a gun and disaster strikes. It can be an awkward conversation, but it is too important to skip.
Protecting your child from a firearm is as easy as asking “Is there a gun in your house?” each time they go into a new home.
- If the answer is no, then you don’t have to worry about it
- If the answer is yes, then ask how the gun is stored. It should be stored in a locked location with the ammunition locked separately.
- If you are not comfortable with the situation, then just suggest that the kids play at your home.
One short, awkward conversation is worth your peach of mind, and protecting your child from a preventable and tragic accident. You can learn more here.
*information in this blog is from www.healthychildren.org, a trusted source for parents.