The aims of the survey were to assess the prevalence of firearms and firearm storage/safety practices in St. Louis-area households with children under the age of 19 as well as determine parent receptiveness to conversations about gun storage/safety with their pediatrician.
Parents completed a paper survey while in the waiting room of their pediatric care provider. We found that 36% of respondents had household firearms, and of those, 25.1% reported at least one firearm was stored loaded. The majority of parents (regardless of firearm ownership) thought the pediatrician should advise about safe storage of firearms and believed that pediatricians should ask about the presence of household firearms, but only 12.8% of all parents reported a discussion about firearms with the pediatrician.
Garbutt, J. M., Bobenhouse, N., Dodd, S., Sterkel, R., & Strunk, R. C. (2016). What are parents willing to discuss with their pediatrician about firearm safety? A parental survey. The Journal of pediatrics, 179, 166-171.
Next Steps – Firearm Message Development
We obtained a pilot grant to work with the University of Missouri School of Journalism to develop messages for primary care providers. The goal of these messages is to urge parents to ensure that all firearms are safely stored in homes where their child or adolescent lives or visits regularly. We will test the acceptability of these firearm-safety messages for providers and parents, and evaluate important factors for tailoring the selected firearm safety messages to increase their effectiveness.
- WU PAARC
- Children's Hospital - St. Louis
- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
- Project Childsafe
- National Opinion Research Center
- General Social Survey - Trends in Gun Ownership in the United States, 1972-2014
- Pew Research
- Selected Literature
- Barkin SL, Finch SA, Ip EH, Scheindlin B, Craig JA, Steffes J, et al. Is office-based counseling about media use, timeouts, and firearm storage effective? Results from a cluster-randomized, controlled trial. Pediatrics. 2008;122(1):e15-25. [PMID: 18595960] [PMCID: PMC4486046] [PDF]
- Forbis SG, McAllister TR, Monk SM, Schlorman CA, Stolfi A, Pascoe JM. Children and firearms in the home: a Southwestern Ohio Ambulatory Research Network (SOAR-Net) study. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine : JABFM. 2007;20(4):385-391. [PMID: 17615419]
- Hardy MS. Teaching firearm safety to children: failure of a program. Journal of developmental and behavioral pediatrics : JDBP. 2002;23(2):71-76. [PMID: 11943968]
- Haught K, Grossman D, Connell F. Parents' attitudes toward firearm injury prevention counseling in urban pediatric clinics. Pediatrics. 1995;96(4 Pt 1):649-653. [PMID: 7567325] [PDF]
- Himle MB, Miltenberger RG, Gatheridge BJ, Flessner CA. An evaluation of two procedures for training skills to prevent gun play in children. Pediatrics. 2004;113(1 Pt 1):70-77. [PMID: 14702451] [PDF]
- Jackman GA, Farah MM, Kellermann AL, Simon HK. Seeing is believing: what do boys do when they find a real gun? Pediatrics. 2001;107(6):1247-1250. [PMID: 11389238] [PDF]