Below is a list of facts and safety tips created by the Division of Preventive Medicine/Community Pediatrics and Safe Series Miami™ (a registered trademark of Nicklaus Children's Hospital, formerly Miami Children's Hospital.)
Facts parents need to know:
- 1,079,301 high school students across America take a weapon to school at least once every 30 days
- 996,227 high school students feel too unsafe to even go to school at least once every 30 days
- 5.4% of high school students (9.9% of males) carry a gun at least once every 30 days
- 1.3 million high school students are threatened or injured with a weapon on school property at least once every year.
According to national statistics provided by the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office:
- Every two hours and 24 minutes, a handgun kills a child
- Our children are 12 times more likely to die by gunfire than children in 25 other industrialized countries combined
- Over 90 percent of unintentional shootings involving children can be attributed to a family handgun.
Safety tips parents need to know:
Children should not have access to firearms.
- If you have children and are a gun owner, take all necessary precautions
- Never handle a gun in front of children
- Use gun lock safety devices in firearms
- Treat every firearm as if it is loaded
- Always point the muzzle in a safe direction
- Keep your finger off the trigger
- Never rely on a mechanical safety
- Know what to do in the event of a misfire
- Wear protective ear and eye equipment
- Do not mix guns with alcohol, drugs or fatigue
- NEVER shoot a gun into the air
- Know how to clean and store your firearm securely and safely
- Learn the laws surrounding firearms
- Take personal responsibility for your firearm
- Strictly enforce gun safety rules in your home
- Keep all firearms locked up
- Talk to your children about the potential dangers of guns
- Check with neighbors, friends, or relatives to ensure they will follow safe storage practices if firearms are in their homes
Parents should talk to children about the hazards of gun use.
- A gun in the home can be a danger to children. Parents should seriously weigh the risks of keeping a gun in the home.
- Gun owners should always store firearms (including BB or pellet guns) unloaded and locked up, out of reach of children. Ammunition should be locked in a separate location, also out of reach of children.
- Quality safety devices, such as gun locks, lock boxes or gun safes, should be used for every gun kept in the home. Keep gun storage keys and lock combinations hidden in a separate location.
Check with neighbors, friends and relatives ó or adults in any other homes where children may visit ó to ensure they follow safe storage practices if firearms are in their homes.
- Teach them never to touch or play with guns, and to tell an adult if they find a gun.