MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – New data in a March 2022 study by the AARP showing the number of fire-arm related injuries increasing during the pandemic and death by firearms becoming the leading cause of death for people 19 years and younger.
The trend has been seen locally as well. According to UW Health Kids, there have been 29 firearm related injuries since 2020 seen at American Family Children’s Hospital. In comparison, There were nine firearms injuries in 2017, seven in 2018 and just one in 2019 seen at the Hospital.
“When a parent drops their child off at another family’s home for a play date or birthday party, we want to encourage parents to ask about safe firearm storage,” he said. “All too often, firearms get into the hands of children leading to severe, oftentimes lethal, injuries,” said Dr. Adam Brinkman, medical director, pediatric trauma, UW Health Kids.
Because of this, UW Health Kids and the American Academy of Pediatrics is offering tips to keep children safe.
- Teach children not to touch guns and go find an adult right away if they find one.
- Kids are safer when the firearm is in a locked box or a safe, unloaded.
- Ammunition should be locked away separately.
- Talk with other parents or caregivers to ask if they are following these safety measures if your child will be spending time in their home.
- Decide who to ask, how to ask and think about how to respond to different answers in advance.
- Figure out who you’re most comfortable talking with among the adults in charge and ask your questions before the visit.
“We want parents to talk to their kids and each other about potential dangers of firearms and be sure kids know what they should do if they come across improperly secured firearms,” Brinkman said.
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