My husband Dave is the dad behind PreparaMom and today, he’s sharing with us tips for educating your children about gun safety. David has served for years as a firefighter and a paramedic. In that time, he has learned the value of being prepared for any situation or emergency which is why I tapped him for help with this very important topic.
First, let’s talk about exactly how you should approach talking with your kids on gun safety.
What kids should know about gun safety:
Teach your children to be aware of what a gun looks like and that it can come in many sizes and shapes. Emphasize they are not toys and should never be touched or handled. If a child finds a gun lying out, they should not touch it, but should let you or an adult know. This includes when they are at a friend’s house. If their friend tries to touch or handle a gun, they should let an adult know immediately.
McGruff the Crime Dog has a very simple approach that may be helpful for you when communicating with your children about firearm safety as well as helpful for your kids to remember:
Tell an Adult.
If a child becomes really curious and wants to use a gun, redirect their curiosity to something safer. Nerf guns or blunted bows and arrows are good options for this and can be used in target practice.
Reinforce that even these safer options should NEVER be pointed at anyone and they should NEVER shoot a person (including themselves) or an animal with any type of gun – toy or otherwise. The idea is this should only be used for target practice.
What Parents Should Know About Gun Safety
The most important thing is to educate your child about how to behave around guns. Children should never handle a gun or treat one like a toy. If they see one at a friend’s house, they must be taught to alert an adult so that it can be secured. And kids should never distract someone who is handling a gun, even if they think it is unloaded (like when someone is cleaning or assembling a firearm).
Make sure guns are locked away. All guns should be kept in a secret location that a child does not have access to, like a parent’s bedroom or home office. The gun should be secured with a gun lock that will prevent it from being fired. But it should also be placed inside a locked strongbox or gun safe and the child should not have access to the key or combination.
Gun safety is probably one of the most important conversations that you can have with your kids. The big thing to remember here is to not make this a scary issue. This world provides us with plenty of things to worry about and you don’t want your child growing up afraid of the world around them. But a healthy respect for guns and how to be safe around them is extremely vital.
Want to learn more about firearm safety? Here’s a list of helpful resources:
Help Your Kids Be Prepared for Accidents!
At the park or playing ball – your kids can be prepared for the sun AND accidents with a first aid kit designed exclusively with you and your kids in mind.