It’s hard to believe that summer is coming to a close and a new school year is about to begin. For many of the families we work with, this may mean new classmates for their children. As these relationships are forged and children get together outside of school, it’s a good time to remind parents and caregivers that it is important to ask about the presence of a gun in the home before they allow their children to visit.
Just as parents may ask about a pet in the home or discuss their child’s peanut allergy, it’s important to remember that guns are all around us; in the US, 1 out of 3 homes with kids also have guns. We also know that among children, the majority (89 percent) of unintentional shooting deaths occur in the home. This happens all too frequently: sadly, just last week, an 11-year-old was treated at CHOP after accidentally shooting himself at his home.
A well-child visit or sports physical before the school year begins is a great time to counsel parents on gun safety in the home.
CHOP’s Violence Prevention Initiative has developed several resources for counseling families on gun safety in the home:
- Watch a recorded 1-hour webinar from CHOP experts
- Access web content that includes guidance on how to counsel families according to their child’s developmental milestones
- Read stats and facts about youth gun violence
You can also download and share this handout from the University of Michigan Injury Center, which includes an overview of safe storage options for firearms.
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