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gun-safety-for-kidsProtect your children from gun accidents.

I watched in horror as the morning news reported a shooting in Kentucky. A little girl was shot dead by her big brother. The weapon? The little boys own rifle– it was a birthday present.

"My First Rifle"

I had no idea that such a product even existed. A rifle made specifically for little kids? I went to look at the website for the company who makes and sells these guns, but after this tragedy, they have taken their site down. However, I was able to determine that the Pennsylvania-based maker of the rifles markets its guns with the slogan "My First Rifle." They are available with different barrel and stock designs, including some made in hot pink to appeal to young girls.

Guns for Kids?

There are those who will say that they are teaching their child gun safety, and part of that is letting them have their own firearm. Others will argue that they want to introduce their child to sport shooting or hunting.

Many will look at this tragedy and think that it could not possibly happen to their family. I bet this family thought that as well. My heart breaks for them, as undoubtedly their world has been shattered and their lives changed forever.

Gun Safety

If you must have a firearm in your home, it is of extreme importance to store your firearms safely. To ensure the safest environment for your family:

  • Take the ammunition out of the gun.
  • Lock the gun and keep it out of reach of kids. Hiding the gun is not enough.
  • Lock the ammunition and store it apart from the gun.
  • Store the keys for the gun and the ammunition in a different area from where you store your household keys. Keep the keys out of reach of children.
  • Lock up gun-cleaning supplies, which are often poisonous.
  • When handling or cleaning a gun, never leave the gun unattended

Teach kids to follow these rules if they come into contact with a gun:

  • Stop what they're doing.
  • Do not touch the gun.
  • Leave the area.
  • Tell an adult right away.

I can only hope that people will exercise care with any guns they may have, and that children will be safe from gun accidents. Over 86% of all firearm deaths of children 11 or younger took place in or around a home. More than 500 children die annually from accidental gunshots.

We need to do everything we possibly can to reduce these numbers, because they are not just numbers, they are precious young lives.

For more from Anne, check out Maternity Corner.

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