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Child Safety: Guns and Firearms - Topic Overview

Small children, even some 1-year-olds, are able to pull the trigger on a gun. Also, older children or adults can mishandle guns or firearms and injure others. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to avoid keeping guns and firearms in the home or car. If this is not possible, guns and firearms should be kept away from children and stored:1, 2

  • Unloaded.
  • Locked in a secure location, with the keys hidden.
  • With the safety device on.
  • Separate from ammunition. It's also important to lock up the ammunition.

Talk with your children about gun safety. Be sure that they know to stay away from guns in a friend's home or elsewhere and to tell you if they see or find a gun.

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Talk with the parents of your children's friends. Find out if they have guns in their homes. If they do, ask that they keep them unloaded, locked up, and out of children's reach.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 26, 2012
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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