This month's health tip from the Massachusetts Medical Society, the statewide association of physicians, is about protecting children from gun injury at home.
The tragic shooting deaths of Connecticut schoolchildren have again raised the conversation about children and guns. Part of the discussion should focus on the home: One-third of homes in the U.S. have at least one gun, and nearly 40 percent of homes with children under age 18 have a gun. Because a child's curiosity can lead to severe injury or even death, children need protection from guns in the home.
A home is safest without a gun, but in homes with guns, children are safer if guns are unloaded, locked in a safe with the bullets stored and locked separately. Parents who don't own a gun should make sure the homes their children visit are safe by asking neighbors, family, and friends if they have a gun. Parents must remember to "ASK" because Asking Saves Kids.
For a free brochure, Protecting Your Child From Gun Injury, visit the Massachusetts Medical Society at www.massmed.org/violence. For more information on children and guns, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.healthychildren.org.
The Massachusetts Medical Society, founded in 1781, is the statewide professional association for physicians and medical students.