As the summer months start to creep in and the world starts opening back up, activities like outdoor sports, hunting, playdates at friends’ houses, cookouts, and camping will be back on the calendar. The most important thing is safety. Being COVID-19 safe is of course incredibly important, but we can’t forget about the normal safety routines that need to be observed to make sure that your family stays happy and healthy. This week we are focusing on gun safety in the home and while hunting with children.
Guns in the Home
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the safest home for children is a home without guns. Not only are toddlers who can find guns and fire them accidentally safer, but teenagers are 4 to 10 times less likely to commit suicide if there is not a gun in the home.
Children as young as three years-old can be strong enough to pull the trigger. So what can you do to prevent accidental firings?
If you own a gun(s) they should be stored unloaded in a locked box such as a biometric safe or firearm safe with the ammunition stored in a separate locked box. Make sure teens and children do not know where the key is stored or what the combination to the lock is. Guns should never be stored loaded in unlocked in cars or other transportation. Trigger locks should be employed on all firearms.
Guns in Other Homes
Unfortunately, a huge number of accidental shootings and firings occur in the homes of family members or friends that children are visiting. To help prevent this add the question, “Is there an unlocked gun in your house?” to the list of things you would normally ask a parent before a new playdate situation. Asking about pets, allergies, supervision, pool fences, and other safety concerns are normal and help to protect your children. Asking about gun safety is just as important.
Talking to your children directly is also an important step. Teach your children to never touch an unattended gun and to always go tell an adult right away. Remind them before they go to a new house or situation just to be sure.
Guns in Use
While hunting is a popular family activity for many families, children are not able nor responsible enough to handle carrying or firing a potentially deadly weapon. Be sure to always have the safety catch on the gun until it is ready to be fired. Before setting the gun down, even if you feel it is out of reach of little hands, make sure the gun is unloaded.
For more resources on gun safety and for information on how to apply for a free gun safety storage kit visit the Project Child Safe site. Our providers are always available to help answer any questions about gun safety and your children. Give us a call with any questions or concerns.