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Learning About Gun Safety for Parents


The Canadian Paediatric Society encourages parents to avoid keeping guns in the home or car. If this isn't possible, guns should be kept away from children and teens.

Wherever guns are kept, there's the risk of accidental shootings. This can be both in your home and in the homes your child plays in.

Many kids are curious about guns. They may see guns on TV. They may be tempted to play with guns that are within reach. Kids and teens can act without thinking. Small children, even some toddlers, are strong enough to pull the trigger on a gun. Older children can mishandle guns and injure others. And teens who are depressed or at risk for suicide can be in greater danger when guns are around.

How can you protect your child?

Here are some things you can do to help keep your child safe from guns.

  • Store all guns in your home safely to keep them away from children and teens.
    • Keep them unloaded.
    • Store and lock them in a secure place. This may be with a lock box, a cable lock, or a gun safe. If you keep them in a gun safe, limit the number of people who can open it. If the guns are under lock and key, keep the key hidden.
    • Keep the safety device on.
    • Keep guns separate from the ammunition. It should also be locked up.
  • Don't keep a gun in your car.
  • Talk with your child about gun safety.

    Be sure that your child knows to stay away from guns in a friend's home or elsewhere and to tell you if they see or find a gun.

  • Talk with the parents of your child's friends.

    Along with your safety questions about pets, traffic, and supervision, ask about guns. If there is an unlocked gun in the house, consider not letting your child play there until the gun is unloaded, locked up, and out of reach.

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