Gun safety not part of many parents' conversations with kids

Nov 09, 2010 By Jessica Soulliere

As many as one-half of American households have a gun and nearly 30 children are injured or killed every day by firearms in the United States - most from guns owned by the child’s family or friends.

In August 2010, the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health asked 1,621 about gun ownership and if they have talked about gun safety with their children.

The poll found that one-third of respondents with children, age 5-17, report having a gun in the household. Of parents with guns in their homes, 82 percent said they have discussed gun safety with their children—most within the past year. In contrast, only 48 percent of parents without guns in their household have ever discussed gun safety with their children.

Eighteen percent of gun-owning parents say they have never talked with their children about gun safety and 52 percent of parents who do not have a gun at home have never talked with the children about gun safety.

“With firearms in about one-third of the approximately 35 million U.S. households with children under 18, discussing gun safety is something all parents need to consider,” says Matthew Davis, M.D., director of the poll and associate professor of pediatrics and internal medicine in the Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit at the U-M Medical School. “Parents in non-gun-owning households simply cannot assume that their children will never encounter a situation involving firearms.”

Regardless of gun ownership, parents who have talked to their children about gun safety guidelines are more confident that their kids will practice gun safety than parents who have not talked with their children.

When asked, “How worried are you that your child could get hurt with a gun when at a friend’s home?”19 percent of parents say “very worried.” Among gun owning parents, only 10 percent are very worried, compared with 24 percent of parents who do not own a gun.

“When more than half of non-gun owning parents have never discussed gun safety with their children and nearly 1 in 5 gun-owning parents have never discussed gun safety with their children, many children may be unprepared to understand and follow the basics of gun safety,” Davis says. “Parents need to learn how to talk to their children about gun safety whether they own a gun or not, to be sure their children are prepared should they ever encounter a situation where a gun is present.”

Davis says parents should look for age-appropriate education materials to emphasize the basic principles of gun safety and discuss them with their . Some basic gun safety tips include:

• Never point a gun at anyone, even if you think it is not loaded.
• Only use a gun when you are with an adult.

Explore further: NTU and UNESCO to create mini-lab kits for youths in developing countries

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Report exposes loopholes in gun-control laws

Sep 03, 2009

Gun shows and the lack of uniform gun-control laws provide easy access to guns that can be used for criminal purposes, according to a new report released today from the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research ...

Astronauts to test high-tech caulk gun

Sep 16, 2007

U.S. astronauts on the next shuttle mission will test the ability of a silicon substance loaded into a high-tech caulk gun to patch tiles.

Recommended for you

Cloning whistle-blower: little change in S. Korea

Oct 24, 2014

The whistle-blower who exposed breakthrough cloning research as a devastating fake says South Korea is still dominated by the values that allowed science fraudster Hwang Woo-suk to become an almost untouchable ...

Color and texture matter most when it comes to tomatoes

Oct 21, 2014

A new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), evaluated consumers' choice in fresh tomato selection and revealed which characteristics make the red fruit most appealing.

How the lotus got its own administration

Oct 21, 2014

Actually the lotus is a very ordinary plant. Nevertheless, during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) a complex bureaucratic structure was built up around this plant. The lotus was part of the Imperial Household, ...

User comments : 0