While there is no specific age to talk to a child about gun safety, a good time to introduce the subject is when he or she shows an interest in firearms…
HOW DO I TALK TO MY CHILD ABOUT GUNS?
While there is no specific age to talk to a child about gun safety, a good time to introduce the subject is when he or she shows an interest in firearms. This interest can come from family members, friends, toy guns, video games or television shows or movies. Talking openly and honestly about gun safety with your child is usually more effective than just ordering him or her to “Stay out of the gun closet” and leaving it at that. Such a statement may just stimulate a child’s natural curiosity to investigate further.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO DISCUSS PRETEND VS. REAL LIFE WITH MY CHILD?
Children often see characters shot and “killed” with well-documented frequency on TV and in the movies. When that child sees the same actor appear in next week’s episode, or another movie or TV show, confusion between entertainment and real life may result. In many video games, players actively shoot other characters with no personal consequences. The player can simply hit the reset button to bring themselves and other characters back to life. Do not assume that your child knows the difference between being “killed” on TV or in a video game and the reality of gun violence. Having toy guns in the house is a decision each parent should make. If your child has toy guns, you may want to use them to explain how they differ from genuine firearms. Make sure you tell them to never assume a gun they see or find is a toy.
Gun Safety Series
The Cleveland Police Foundation, in partnership with the Cleveland Division of Police and the Ohio Crime Prevention Association present these tips so citizens can help to make our community safer.