A CDC study says gunshots are the second leading cause of death for children behind car accidents.
Doctors at one children’s hospital are now taking action.
A hospital and a store that sells guns are teaming up to make sure firearms are locked up at home for kids’ safety.
The first gun lockbox giveaway at Seattle’s outdoor emporium was standing room only.
Leon Moore, Outdoor Emporium manager says,” Individuals will come in and they have to go through a gun safety training course before they get their free gun vault from children’s hospital.”
Seattle Children’s Chief Medical Officer, Mark Del Beccaro and his team started the program about four years ago.
In 18 events, they’ve given away more than 5,000 lockboxes, 5,000 cable locks, and 500 trigger locks.
Mark Del Beccaro, Seattle Children’s Hospital says, ” If you own a car, you wear a seat belt. If you own a boat, you should be wearing a life jacket, and if you ride a bike, you should be wearing a helmet. If you own a gun, when it’s not in use at the home, you should lock it up.”
More than 1,200 kids have died from gunshots in a little over a year.
Doctor Del Beccaro says locking guns up reduces the risk of accidental or suicidal shootings by toddlers or teens by more than 80 percent.
” Just delaying them by having something locked will often be enough that they will kind of come down from the rollercoaster, so it’s really about impulse control, “continues Mark Del Beccaro.
Gun safety experts also say firearms should be stored unloaded, with ammunition in another place.
Doctor Del Beccaro says it’s too soon to measure the program’s impact, but it is spreading to more communities.
Families that get the lockboxes have reported overwhelmingly that they are using them at home.
Seattle children’s has put together an outline for other children’s hospitals to run the program.