Gun safety — making the conversation a normal part of well visits.
The goal of the gun safety counseling conversation is totally focused on child safety and injury prevention.
Talking about guns can be a simple question added to your current list of safety questions, like questions on car seat usage, locking medications, and wearing bike helmets. Lok-It-Up, a campaign for the safe storage of firearms, offers good suggestions for questions to start the conversation.
Encourage parents and guardians to ask about firearms in homes where their children play. The Asking Saves Kids (ASK) campaign promotes this idea.For details, visit the Asking Saves Kids' website.
Ask: "If you have any firearms at home, are they stored unloaded and locked?"
If “no,” recommend safe storage.Suggest that firearms be kept unloaded and locked. Recommend that ammunition be stored separately. Screen for situations that might place family members at high risk of injury despite safe storage (such as an adolescent in the home or family members who are depressed or suicidal), and make appropriate recommendations.
If “yes,” reinforce choice to keep firearm unloaded and locked.Check that ammunition is stored separately. Screen for situations that might place family members at high risk of injury despite safe storage (such as an adolescent in the home or family members who are depressed or suicidal), and make appropriate recommendations.
This is critical: Encourage parents and guardians to find out about firearms in other homes where their children play. The ASK campaign promotes this idea.
Ask: “Before you send your child to someone else’s house to play, do you ask if firearms in that home are stored unloaded and locked?”
“Are firearms in your home safely stored?” See the tips below.
Some tips and scripts for parents*
Ask about firearms before your child goes to play at someone’s home, along with other things you discuss such as seat belt use, allergies, and animals.
- “I don’t mean any disrespect, but knowing how curious my child can be, I feel I have to ask this question...”
- “I hope you don’t mind me asking if you have a firearm in your home and if it is properly stored...”
Did you know?
Project Child Safe has partnered with many law enforcement departments in Pennsylvania to provide free gun safety (lock) kits. To find partners in your community, visit the Project Child Safe website.