Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Half of American Kids Spend Time near Guns

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Half of American Kids Spend Time near Guns

Article excerpt

A survey of parents in Missouri and Illinois reveals that about half of the children in the families queried spent time in homes that have firearms. However, few parents reported talking about gun safety with their children's pediatricians.


According to the study, one-third of the parents who own firearms indicated they did not want to be asked about household firearms and would take offense to or ignore physician advice to remove guns from the home.

"Many physicians feel a profession al obligation to discuss gun-violence prevention, but they don't because they are not sure what to say or what they're legally allowed to say," said researcher Jane M. Garbutt, MD. "Our research is a step toward finding a way to discuss firearm safety that is acceptable to both physicians and parents."

The researchers surveyed 1,246 parents in urban, suburban, and rural pediatricians' waiting rooms in Missouri and Illinois from March 23 through May 21, 2015.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that pediatricians screen parents about the presence of household firearms, emphasize that a home without guns is the safest, and advocate safe storage of firearms.

In 2013, the most recent year for which statistics are available, 2,465 children and adolescents under age 20 died from firearm-related incidents; 15,091 were treated in emergency rooms, and 6,213 were hospitalized, according to the U. …

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