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Gun Safety: Keeping Children Safe

More than 44 million Americans own firearms. Of the 192 million firearms owned in the United States, 65 million are handguns.

Research Shows Guns in Homes are a Serious Risk to Families  

  • A gun kept in the home is far more likely to kill someone known to the family than to kill or injure an intruder.   
  • A gun kept in the home triples the risk of homicide.  
  • The risk of suicide is 5 times more likely if a gun is kept in the home.  

Advice to Parents

The best way to keep your children safe from injury or death from guns is to NEVER have a gun in the home.  

  • Do not purchase a gun, especially a handgun.  
  • Remove all guns present in the home.  
  • Remember that young children simply do not understand how dangerous guns can be, despite parents' warnings .  
  • Find out if there are guns in the homes where your children play. If so, talk to the adults in the house about the dangers of guns to their families.  

For those who know of the dangers of guns but still keep a gun in the home:

  • Always keep the gun unloaded and locked up.  
  • Lock and store the bullets in a separate place.  
  • Make sure to hide the keys to the locked boxes.  

Additional Information:


Last Updated
TIPP: The Injury Prevention Program (Copyright © 1994 American Academy of Pediatrics Revised 5/2009)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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