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Children and guns


Parents, professionals and the whole of society in general are very concerned about the increasing number of children and adolescents who are perishing as a result of the Firearms.

The numbers speak for themselves. The following statistical data has been obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Center for the Prevention of Gun Violence: Gunshot wounds are the second leading cause of death among youth ages 10-24. For every child killed, four are injured.

The numbers give the explanation of why we must keep children and firearms away in United States.

At 1994, about a 90 percent of the victims of homicides between the ages of 15 and 19 were killed with a firearm. Just one year later, 1 in 2 students reported carrying a firearm to fight or to self-defense at least once in the past 30 days, an increase of 1 in 24 in 1990. Of the violent deaths in schools, 77 percent are caused by firearms. Approximately half of all homes in the United States have a firearm and more than half are loaded. In 1996, more than 1,300 children between the ages of 10 and 19 committed suicide with a firearm.

We cannot make bulletproof children and adolescents. Children like to play and be active. Teenagers are curious and impulsive. Such healthy characteristics, when combined with firearms, can be fatal. The best way to protect children from violence is to remove all firearms from the home. If you have firearms in the house, there can always be dangers.

We recommend the following precautions to reduce risk:

- Keep firearms, no bullets and de-hammering, in a locked box.

- For revolvers, place a padlock around the top bar so that the cylinder cannot be closed, or use a trigger lock; for pistols, use a trigger lock.

- Never put down the firearm out of your sight, not for a second, when you are cleaning it or have removed it for any reason. You must keep it in view at all times. Even when parents do not have a firearm, they should always ask other parents whose homes their children are going to play in to make sure they have taken all the safety measures.

In a recent study, conducted on accidental shots that injured children under the age of 16, it was found that a 40 percent of the shootings occurred in houses of friends or relatives. The saddest thing about this whole story is that these tragedies occurred when children were not under the supervision of adults.

The risk of violence increases rapidly when young people drink alcoholic beverages and firearms are available. In a juvenile study, victims who committed suicide with Firearms they were five times more likely to have been drinking than those who used other means. In another study of firearm-associated deaths in the family, nearly 90 percent of attackers and victims had been taking alcoholic beverages or using drugs before the homicides.

The average American child witnesses an increasing number of acts of violence each day on television, in the movies, and through computer games, most of which involve firearms.

Children often imitate what they see and become more aggressive after seeing a lot violence on television, in the movies, and / or in violent video games. Parents must help protect their children from the effects of violence in the media.

For example, they may watch television programs, movies, and videos with their children, ration television, and express their disapproval in front of children when they watch. violent episodes saying that this is not the best way to resolve conflicts. Children and adolescents with Emotional problems or behavior are at greater risk of using firearms against others or against themselves.

Parents who worry that their child is overly aggressive or has an emotional disorder may wish to get a evaluation by a child and adolescent psychiatrist.

Source consulted:
- American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

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