Health Watch: Gun safety and your child

RAPID CITY, SD (KEVN) I'm not interested in being political here, but whatever your thoughts are on gun control I think we can all agree that gun safety is very important especially in the homes of people who have children young or older. Gun injuries are much more likely to occur in homes where guns are present whether this is accidental or inflicted or intentional injuries. In an interesting poll of children who had guns in their homes, first and second graders, 75% of them said they knew exactly where the guns are kept and 36% of them said children had handled the guns, both of these statistics were contrary to what the parents believed to be true about their children's knowledge of the guns. Approximately one-third of homes that have guns in them with children present those guns are not stored appropriately, they are stored unlocked and loaded often times which of course is very dangerous. About 31 percent of accidental deaths could be prevented with simple child safety locks and a loading indicator. Teen suicide attempts are so much more final when they are attempted with guns as opposed to other suicide attempt methods and of course if those guns are located in the home much more available for that teen. Remember simple ways to keep your gun safe from children in your home is to keep them in a locked gun safe, unloaded and stored away from the ammunition. This is Dr. Cara Hamilton at Black Hills Pediatrics with your Health Watch.