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For Parents: Gun Safety

The role of education

When should you give your child gun safety education? That’s up to you. You may want to ask the local police department for advice. Knowledge about safe gun handling lowers the risk of accidents. It can also teach your child to be responsible about guns.

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Setting the rules

Sit down with your child and set the rules in a family meeting. Answer all of your child’s questions. If guns are not a mystery, his or her natural curiosity may decrease. Use a log book to record when you talk about, maintain, or purchase a gun.

Make sure your children understand that violence on TV and in the movies is not real. They need to be told—and probably reminded again and again—that in real life, children are badly hurt and killed by guns. Al­though the popular media often romanticize gun use, youngsters must learn that these weapons can be extremely dangerous. 

What your child should do

Make sure your child knows what to do around guns. Discuss the following rules:

  • Never touch a gun! Leave it as you find it. Tell other kids not to touch it either.

  • Never keep knowledge of a gun a secret. Tell an adult if you see a gun, even if you are not sure it’s a real gun.

  • If you see someone with a gun, go away. Then tell an adult immediately.

Online Medical Reviewer: Adler, Liora C., MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Freeborn, Donna, PhD, CNM, FNP
Date Last Reviewed: 4/1/2018
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