Gun violence is now the leading cause of death in children, and it is not just about school shootings. There are accidental shooting deaths that happen in the home when one (or more) parents are gun owners, and these situations need to be taken just as serious.
According to Healthday, a study was done that has found that pediatricians play a key role in gun safety and making sure children are protected from guns. The study was published in the Journal of Applied Research on Children, and it can be read in full here.
The study has found that pediatricians have become the trusted “middle men” when it comes to conversations between gun owners and non gun-owners about safety when children are involved.
The researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, found that parents were more open to talking about gun safety, gun locks and other measures when their child’s doctor was involved. This could indicate that pediatricians need to be more involved in conversations that happen, and that they may want to bring this up at well visits with the family.
The researchers are hoping that this study will lead to a reduction of firearm injuries and deaths among children.
Katelin Hoskins was the lead researcher, and she stated that parents are often receptive if the information is coming from a nonjudgmental, empathetic and collaborative approach. Meaning that talking to them instead of ordering them to get rid of their guns may have better results.
To complete the study, researchers had 100 parents watch a short video of pediatricians who were speaking to parents on gun safety, and they were asked to answer survey questions after.
They found that overall, parents were incredibly receptive to a pediatrician discussing gun safety, and it scored a 4.35 out of 5 on the “acceptability” scale from both gun owner parents and non gun-owner parents.
They also found that 75% of the participants said that they trusted their pediatrician’s advice when it came to gun safety, and that they would follow their advice. This could be key at changing the way we talk about gun safety.
Sources: HealthDay, Digital Commons