Child Safety: Guns and Firearms

Topic Overview

Small children, even some 1-year-olds, are able to pull the trigger on a gun. Also, older children or adults can mishandle guns or firearms and injure others. The Canadian Paediatrics Society encourages parents to avoid keeping guns and firearms in the home or other places where children may be, such as a car. If this is not possible, guns and firearms should be kept away from children and stored:

  • Unloaded.
  • Locked in a secure location, with the keys hidden.
  • With the safety device on.
  • Separate from ammunition. It's also important to lock up the ammunition.

Talk with your children about gun safety. Be sure that they know to stay away from guns in a friend's home or elsewhere and to tell you if they see or find a gun.

Talk with the parents of your children's friends. Find out if they have guns in their homes. If they do, ask that they keep them unloaded, locked up, and out of children's reach.

References

Citations

  1. Austin K, Lane M (2018). The prevention of firearm injuries in Canadian youth. Paediatrics and Child Health, 23(1): 35–42. DOI: 10.1093/pch/pxx164. Accessed October 8, 2018.

Credits

Current as of: August 22, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Thomas Emmett Francoeur MD MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics

Is it an emergency?

If you or someone in your care has chest pains, difficulty breathing, or severe bleeding, it could be a life-threatening emergency. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately.
If you are concerned about a possible poisoning or exposure to a toxic substance, call Poison Control now at 1-800-567-8911.

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