Teaching Your Child Gun Safety

Gun safety is a sensitive topic in our country. Additionally, many children are being exposed to “play” guns through popular video games and toys. It’s extremely important to teach your child the difference between play guns and real guns. If you or someone you know chooses to keep firearms in the house, explain the impact a gun can make and practice the following safety precautions.

Gun Safety in Your Own Home

If you choose to keep firearms in your home, teach your child the following basics and safety measures from a young age.

  • Keep guns unloaded in a locked safe
  • Store ammunition in a separate locked safe
  • Keep keys to safe(s) in a strategic hiding spot
  • Tell your child to notify you right away if a gun is spotted
  • Demonstrate the different between a loaded and unloaded gun
  • Teach the impact a bullet can make

Gun Safety in Someone Else’s Home

It’s also important to practice gun safety when visiting someone else’s home. Before sending your child off for a playdate, ask the other parent or guardian if there are unlocked guns in their home. While it may feel a little uncomfortable to bring up this subject, it is no different than any other pre-playdate question you may ask, e.g., do you have pets, will the children be supervised during the visit, etc.

If your child encounters firearms in another family’s home, make sure they are prepared by giving them the following protocol to follow.

  • Leave the room where the gun is located
  • Avoid touching the gun
  • Tell an adult
  • Report back to you, the parent, so that you are aware

It is better to inform your child of the dangers of firearms rather than avoid the subject altogether, should your child ever encounter a gun. For more safety tips, talk to your pediatric provider.