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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Pediatricians should talk with parents about guns and their children.

From Science Daily on 01/28/19 -

Paradoxically, as overall firearm ownership decreased in U.S. households with young children from 1976 to 2016, the proportion of these families who owned handguns increased. This shift in firearm preferences over decades from mostly rifles to mostly handguns coincided with increasing firearm-mortality rates in young children, researchers report Jan. 28, 2019, in Pediatrics.

"Almost 5 million children live in homes where at least one firearm is stored loaded and unlocked," Kavita Parikh, M.D., a pediatric hospitalist at Children's National Health System, and co-authors write in an invited commentary. "This study is a loud and compelling call to action for all pediatricians to start open discussions around firearm ownership with all families and share data on the significant risks associated with unsafe storage. It is an even louder call to firearm manufacturers to step up and innovate, test and design smart handguns, inoperable by young children, to prevent unintentional injury," Dr. Parikh and colleagues continue.
The Children's commentators point to the "extremely dangerous" combination of "the small curious hands of a young child" and "the easily accessible and operable, loaded handgun" and suggest that pediatricians who counsel families about safely storing weapons tailor messaging to the weapon type and the family's reason for owning a firearm.
For more click here.

Editor's note:
  • There are more than 393 million guns in circulation in the United States — approximately 120.5 guns for every 100 people.
  • 1.7 million children live with unlocked, loaded guns - 1 out of 3 homes with kids have guns.
  • In 2015, 2,824 children (age 0 to 19 years) died by gunshot and an additional 13,723 were injured.
  • For more click here.

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