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4 Important Tips For Parents To Ensure Kids’ Gun Safety

4 Important Tips For Parents To Ensure Kids’ Gun Safety

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Up to one-third of the US homes keep guns at home, and about 4.6 million children live in homes that keep unlocked and unloaded guns. These grim statistics suggest how toddlers and children have easy access to guns and are at risk (1)

Many households keep a gun for their safety; however, it is still risky for children if you do not observe adequate precautions. Further, the risk of a gun mishap increases if a child or a teen is going through depression, as it could lead them to take wrong measures and hurt themselves (2).

Keep reading as we apprise you of gun safety for kids and tell you a few measures that you could adopt if you have a gun at home.

What To Do If You Keep A Gun At Home?

You could take the following steps to ensure your children’s safety if you keep a gun at home (1) (3) (4).

1. Teach your children about safety measures

If you keep a gun at home, make sure you talk to your children about it and tell them about the consequences of using a gun. Establish strict rules for them not to touch the gun, as it can cause harm to them and others around them.

2. Unload the gun

Make sure you safely unload the gun before storing it. If there are any unlocked guns in the car or other places, make sure they are unloaded. The bullets in the gun need to be removed, and the gun has to be stored unloaded to reduce risks even if children find them by chance

3. Stay cautious and do not use the gun near children

Make sure you use it only for hunting or target practice. Also, ensure you do not use the gun near children.

If circumstances warrant, and you use a gun in front of children, make sure they are at a good distance from you or ask another adult to take care of them. This way, you can highlight the danger of using a gun.

4. Store it safely

Store the gun in a safe place and keep it locked at all times. Make sure children do not know where the keys of the lock are kept.

Teaching Gun Safety To Kids

It is healthy to have open conversations about the use of guns and the safety measures with children. Even if you do not have a gun at your home, teach children about the dangers of guns so that they would know and take precautions beforehand. Here’s what you can teach children about gun safety (4) (5) (6).

  1. Make sure you teach children about the dangers of guns.
  1. Restrict the area with guns. Do not let children go to the place the gun is stored. It’s important to teach them that they cannot be in that space without an adult.
  1. Teach your children never to touch a gun or pick one if they find one. They should instead inform an adult about it.
  1. Teach children to consider all guns as loaded.
  1. Teach children that guns are not toys and make them understand the difference between reality and the violence they see on screen.
  1. Check if other parents have a gun in their home before your children visit them.

The most important step to prevent gun accidents is not to keep one in your home. However, if you have a gun at home, make sure you unload it, remove the bullets, and lock it away from children and teens. Make sure that you use it with precaution and do not use it in front of your children. These steps can decrease gun injuries and allow children to grow in a safer environment.

References:

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Manjari Srivastava

Manjari Srivastava is a graduate of psychology. She also holds certificates in Basics In Clinical Psychology and Identifying Early Signs Of Psychosis In Adolescents And Young Adults.  Previously, she volunteered with an NGO specializing in positive psychology, where she took up individual counseling sessions for students. She also taught English to underprivileged children and helped them with their studies. At MomJunction,... more