KIDS AND GUNS are a deadly combination. Each year in the United States, more than 3000 children younger than 20 years are killed by a firearm. Thousands more sustain nonfatal injuries.1 Because guns are widely available in the United States, American children are far more likely to be killed by a firearm than their peers in other industrialized countries.2 Unintentional firearm-related injuries and deaths are particularly troubling because they are so preventable. The scenario of most unintended shootings of children is all too familiar: 1 or more kids find a gun and begin playing with it. Unsure if it is real or a toy (or believing that it is unloaded), the child pulls the trigger. If the gun is pointed in the wrong direction, a tragedy follows. Ironically, most of these guns were acquired to protect the family, not to harm it.
Simon HK, Kellermann A. Truth or ConsequencesFirearm Safety Instruction at the Time of Purchase. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2002;156(8):750-751. doi:10.1001/archpedi.156.8.750