Firearm Safety

Nearly all unintentional shootings involving children occur in or around the home. Fifty percent occur at the victim’s home and 40 percent occur at a friend or relative’s home. The most effective way to prevent pediatric firearm injuries is to store guns in ways that are inaccessible to children—locked with a trigger lock or cable lock and locked up in a gun safe or lock box. 

The injury prevention experts at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and Safe Kids Greater Cleveland offer this additional advice on keeping children safe from firearms:

  • Children do not have the same impulse control as adults—it is a good idea to talk to your children about guns, and give them specific instructions on what to do if they find one in their own home or someone else’s, but never believe that education alone is enough to keep children safe.
  • Children are curious and resourceful—there’s no place in your home you can hide a gun that your children will not be able to find it.  The only way to protect children from firearms is to store them locked and/or locked up.

  • Children will be children—research shows that even children who have received gun safety education will readily pick up and play with guns they find.

  • Children may be exposed to firearms in unlikely places—if you do not have a gun in your home, you may think your children are safe, but what about their grandparents’ house?  Their uncle?  Their babysitter?  The family down the block?  Talk to adults your children spend time with and ask questions about their gun ownership and storage practices.


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    For more information about firearm safety, please contat the Rainbow Injury Prevention Center.