In 2017, 39,773 persons died from firearms-related injuries in the United States, with violent gun deaths equating to 4.43 persons/100,000 (this compares to 0.06 persons/100,000 in the U.K.). And, in the United States firearm injury is the cause 74% of all homicides and 87% of all youth homicides.
But also, very worryingly, three out of four children (including children less than 10 years old) living in a house with a gun know where the gun is, even when parents think they don’t.
And, while many people feel that having a gun keeps them safer, research suggests that the opposite is true.
In an article produced by Harvard Health Publishing, Faculty Editor, Claire McCarthy, MD suggests three things parents can do to keep children safer:
· If you own a gun, lock it up, unloaded. Keep ammunition locked up separately.
· Ask if there is an unlocked gun where your child plays. This simple question can save your child’s life. If the answer is yes, ask if it can be locked up (unloaded, with the ammunition locked separately). If the gun isn’t stored safely, your child shouldn’t play there.
· If your child has a history of depression or other mental health problems, don’t keep a gun at home. Locking it up may not be enough to keep your child safe.
Our children rely on us to keep them safe — including from gun injury.