When we have firearms in our homes, we must take certain steps to protect our children from unintentional shootings. Cook Children's Aim for Safety® initiative is designed to help reduce the number injuries we see every year among children through gun safety education. This is not about whether guns are right or wrong. It's about taking the necessary steps to protect our children.
Non-powder guns are a popular gift item. To kids, and even adults, they may look like toys, but they should be handled like guns. BB guns, paint balls guns, gel and water bead guns, etc., that are thought of as toys can still be dangerous. These items should have parental supervision to ensure the toys are used safely and that children are not showing signs of aggression or worrisome behavior. Help your kids learn and follow the 3-step rules.
During the holidays and summer months, many children are at home alone and gain access to guns more frequently. Children are also in family and friends' homes that have guns. So parents and caretakers should always ensure safe storage in your own home and the homes you visit. Make sure non-powder guns are also stored correctly.
If your child sees a real gun or sees someone aiming a toy gun at others, teach them to:
"It won't happen to us" is a common theme among children and accidental injuries such as gun shootings. However, the numbers tell a different story. In 2017, there were at least 26 children ages 0-11 in the state of Texas alone that were accidentally killed because a gun was not safely locked away. And there are many more children who have suffered severe injuries with life-changing results.
We can't assume that a child doesn't know where the guns in the house are hidden or that they do not know how to operate one. Children are exposed to violence and guns through media and video games and it may be difficult for them to separate which one is real and which one is not.
You must explain to your kids how a gun on TV or a video game is much different than one in real life. In addition, BB and pellet guns have been proven to be dangerous, despite the common belief that they are harmless.
Here are a few very important reasons to do the Aim for Safety 3 step:
Local, Cook Children's data:
Gun safety is crucial for caregivers to navigate as their kids visit family and have playdates with friends. These simple conversation starters can help save lives.
Who should you be having these conversations with?
Email email@example.com if you would like any of the following:
McGruff Talks to kids about gun safety (K-6)
Project is on hold due to COVID-19 Restrictions
Cook Children's is looking for parents of children ages 4-12 years old to participate in a gun safety research project.
The study takes place on the Cook Children's main campus in Fort Worth, TX, and participants must be willing to attend the onsite sessions.
This project is being conducted by Dan Guzman, M.D., a Cook Children's Emergency Department physician.
If you are interested in participating, please submit this short survey:
Participate in survey
NOTE: If you are logged into a Cook Children's computer, or accessing Cook Children's wi-fi network, please use this link instead:
If you have any questions or would like more information about our program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.