Study finds alarming number of US kids exposed to guns at home

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...

An alarming study out of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis sheds light on number of kids who are around firearms in U.S. households.

A press release by the university notes, "A survey of parents in Missouri and Illinois reveals that about half of the children in the families queried spent time in homes that have firearms. However, few reported talking about gun safety with their children's pediatricians."

RELATED: Gun ownership in the US

10 PHOTOS
Gun ownership
See Gallery
Gun ownership
Graphic shows poll results on gun ownership; 2c x 4 inches; 96.3 mm x 101 mm;
ROCKY FORD, CO - FEBRUARY 26: Andrew Gallegos buys a handgun from Valley Guns owner Carlton Thomas. Gun owners in southern Colorado largely agree that responsible ownership begins at home. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
ROCKY FORD, CO - FEBRUARY 26: Valley Gun owner Carlton Thomas speaks about the gun culture of southern Colorado in Monte Vista. Gun owners in southern Colorado largely agree that responsible ownership begins at home. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
ROCKY FORD, CO - FEBRUARY 26: Howllowpoint Gun Shop Owner Erin Jerant looks on as Justin Noga checks the scope mount in Walsenburg. Jerant says she has known Noga since he was young enough to sit on the store's countertops. Gun owners in southern Colorado largely agree that responsible ownership begins at home. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
ROCKY FORD, CO - FEBRUARY 26: Valley Gun owner Carlton Thomas speaks about the gun culture of southern Colorado in Monte Vista. Gun owners in southern Colorado largely agree that responsible ownership begins at home. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
ROCKY FORD, CO - FEBRUARY 26: Dave Scheel shows off his .38 Smith and Wesson that he carries with him daily. Gun owners in southern Colorado largely agree that responsible ownership begins at home. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
ROCKY FORD, CO - FEBRUARY 25: Hal Holder shows off his .12 gauge shotgun at his store, Arkansas Valley Lumber and Supply. Gun owners in southern Colorado largely agree that responsible ownership begins at home. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
ROCKY FORD, CO - FEBRUARY 26: Alan McFadden fills out a background check as Valley Guns owner Carlton Thomas looks on. Thomas, who knows McFadden well, said that even if his own brother came in, he'd have to fill out the check. Gun owners in southern Colorado largely agree that responsible ownership begins at home. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, left, glances over to a pair of semi-automatic rifles as he discusses his support for a package of proposed gun control legislation at a Capitol news conference in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. Senate Democrats unveiled a package of 10 proposed laws designed to close loopholes in existing gun regulations, keep firearms and ammunition out of the hands of dangerous person and strengthen education relating to firearms and gun ownership.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

The study found that "one-third of the parents who own firearms indicated they did not want to be asked about household firearms and would take offense to or ignore physician advice to remove guns from the home."

Study authors point out that pediatricians consider it an obligation to discuss gun safety with parents but many are unsure how to approach the topic with families, and in some cases, there are legal restrictions.

Jane M. Garbutt, one of the researchers, notes that based on the findings of the study, the team is developing a communication strategy for the pediatricians.

Garbutt suggests that "...the key to effective communication may be to avoid direct questioning about firearm ownership and instead to focus on ensuring safe storage of firearms to all parents...If we treat firearm safety like we do other safety-proofing precautions, it removes judgment."

According to the latest available CDC data, gun-related incidents claimed lives of nearly 2,500 children and adolescents in 2013.

Read Full Story

People are Reading