(1/24/12) - Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal reminds families to take caution during Gun Safety Month (January) as well as year-round. Access to guns creates a risk for serious injury and death. Most firearm-related injuries and deaths of children and adolescents involve handguns.
It is very important to keep firearms safe when not in use. If not secured properly, a child can easily gain access to a gun. Safe Kids recommends using a gun safe and always keeping your guns locked in it, unloaded, to keep accidents to a minimum. The preferred method is a gun safe or lockable closet. If that is not possible, firearms should be stored, unloaded, with trigger or action locks in place, with ammunition stored separately.
Talk to your children about firearm safety and demonstrate those safety rules when handling firearms yourself. Children will learn as much from your actions as your words. If you treat the firearms with respect and utilize proper safety precautions, your children will as well. Stress to children that if they find or see a firearm anywhere, to stop, do not touch it, get away from the firearm and notify a responsible adult immediately.
For more information on preventing injuries in children, visit the Safe Kids website at www.safekids.org.
Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children ages birth to 14. Its members include Florence County Sheriff's Department, City of Florence Police Department, South Carolina Highway Patrol, and the City of Florence Fire Department. Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal was founded in 1995 and is led by McLeod Health, and funded in part by the McLeod Health Foundation.