We have already established the fact that prevention is better than cure. It goes to say that we can never be too careful around kids and prevent every little scrape and graze they get in the play ground. But what about our houses? Sure, kids have to learn to use scissors and knives one day but guns? Are we really being careful enough?
According to Dr. Joseph Simonetti, at the University of Washington School of Medicine’s Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, around 40% kids have access to firearms at home. 40% is a big number, it depicts almost half of United States, not to mention the fact that having a fire arm at hand exponentially increases chances of committing suicide.
The data was collected between the years 2001 and 2004 and targeted teenagers regarding presence and access of firearms at home.
Another aspect of the study was to observe the trends between teenagers who had suicidal tendencies due to some mental illness or had already committed suicide to those who were healthy and had never attempted suicide. The astonishing part was that both groups had equal access to firearms.
Although, the researchers say, “One of the limitations of this study is we’re using data that was collected from 2001 to 2004,” it does not change the fact that there is a huge amount of danger in keeping a firearm at home.
Firearms at home are a risk factor for suicide and need to be handled with care and stored away with even more caution.“We need better studies on how to promote safe firearms storage especially in households with children and children with mental illness,” said Simonetti.
The trend observed by Simonetti and his colleagues shows that most of the firearm incidences were seen in the rural areas and homes of those who are rich. Although there might have been changes in how people decrease access of firearms, there is some truth in the fact that some children might still have firearms at their disposal.
“There is a disconnect between these generally agreed upon storage methods and what’s happening in the community,” said the researchers.
It does not hurt to be stay safe and keep our children safer from accidental or suicidal firearm injuries. The American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics suggest a safer course of action through safer storage of firearms, especially since previous researches have shown a decreased rate of such incidences with better safety precautions.