In a convenience sample of people who showed up in three pediatric emergency departments (EDs), 53% to 74% of caregivers said they believed their child could discriminate between real and toy guns, as well as 68% 88% of children, according to Kiesha Fraser Doh, MD, of Emory University in Atlanta, and colleagues.
But when asked to identify a real weapon from a fake, only 41% of children (ages 7 to 17) made the right decision, they reported at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in English).
"One of our most dramatic findings was the ease with which caregivers and children can confuse real guns with realistic-looking toy guns today," said Fraser Doh at an AAP press conference.
In addition, 34% of gun owners followed the AAP's recommendations that gun owners store their weapons blocked, unloaded and separated from ammunition. "About 53% of the parents in our study were not safely keeping their firearms," he said.
Only 5.1% of caregivers said they felt their son could get a gun in 24 hours, the authors added.
Fraser Doh said that his interest in gun safety was increased by concerns about the storage of firearms in the homes his son visited, and also by what appeared to be frequent presentations of children with accidental injuries. firearm.
"We did a study of parents and children in which we asked the parents how they stored firearms, and then we asked the children and the parents about access to firearms," he explained. They ended with 297 pairs of children and caregivers; 196 of ED were recruited in suburban hospitals and 101 of an urban ED.
The majority of participants were women (79%), had some college education (72%) and had an annual income of $ 50,000. Blacks and whites accounted for 56% and 33% of the participants, respectively.
Gun owners accounted for 25% of respondents, and were significantly more likely to be white (P<0.0001), have an annual income >$ 50,000 (P<0.0001), and some college education (P= 0.0258) against owners without weapons.
In addition, gun owners said they were more likely to allow their children to play with toy guns (50% vs. 26%, P<0.01), discussed the safety of firearms with their children (86% vs. 58%, P<0.001), and said they believed that their son could correctly identify a real gun in front of a toy gun (P= 0.01).
"If you think about it, most parents store their firearms in an insecure way, and children can not tell the difference between a real gun and a toy weapon," Fraser Doh noted. "What this study tells us is that it is up to pediatricians to continue educating their families about how to store firearms safely, and it is a reminder to parents to check how firearms are stored in the homes where they visit. their children".
Tom Wolynn, MD, of Kids Plus Pediatrics / Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, told MedPage Today "There are many studies that show that children, even at a very young age, know how to handle guns, how to pull the trigger, and I think there are many studies that show that parents who do not believe their children know where guns are. fire, know where the firearms are. "
"It's one of the reasons why we make a key point of asking [parents] "About the guns in the house, and if they say 'yes', we ask if the gun is blocked … we also ask if the ammunition is separated for the gun because we know that all those separate processes reduce the risk events" said Wolynn, who was not involved in the study. "Questions about gun safety should be an integral part of overall child welfare care."
Fraser Doh and Wolynn did not reveal relevant relationships with the industry.
2018-04-11T00: 00: 00-0400