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Parents Unaware of their Children’s Knowledge about Household Firearms

by Medindia Content Team on May 1, 2006 at 4:00 PM
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Parents Unaware of their Children’s Knowledge about Household Firearms

Firearms are common place in rural Alabama households. But it accounts for about 10% of the deaths occurring in US among children aged 5 to 14 years. A survey was conducted which showed that parents are not aware of their wards knowledge about the household firearms. The survey results were published in the journal of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Statistics shows that for every firearm-related death among children, 3 children are injured by guns but do not die. Many of these injuries occur when children gain access to household firearms. Frances Baxley, M.D., San Francisco General Hospital, and Matthew Miller, M.D., Sc.D., Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, surveyed 314 pairs of parents and children aged 5 to 14 years.

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Parents were requested to complete a 20-question survey about firearms. On the other hand children went to a separate room and answered questions read aloud by researchers. It was made sure that parents and children were not aware of each others answers. In the end of the survey it was seen that 201 reported keeping at least one firearm in the home, and 91 % percent of those had discussed gun safety with their children. From this number 141 of the parents said that their children knew where the guns were stored, and 60 said that they thought their children had handled a firearm in the home.

On the other hand about 39 % of parents reported that their children did not know the location of the gun and 22 % of those said their children had never handled a weapon in the home. But the parents were contradicted by their children's responses to the same questions. Both the group of parents those who locked their guns away and discussed gun safety with their children and those who did not take such safety measures were contradicted by their children. Hence in conclusion it was said that parents are misinformed about the extent of their children's potential access, exposure and knowledge about the household guns.

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