Report finds guns leading cause of death for US kids, teens in 2020

Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 9:00 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - According to a recent study, guns became the leading cause of death for children and teens in 2020.

The report found those deaths rose by 29% from 2019.

Owner of Cherokee Firearms Nick Newman says the best thing you can do is educate your child and have open and honest conversations with them about guns.

”That’s why we go to school,” Newman says. “That’s why we raise children and talk to them. Educate your kids about what guns are and what they aren’t. They’re tools that can hurt anyone at any time, but they won’t do it without a human being involved.”

The study found that more than 4,300 children and teens died from gun-related injuries in 2020.

Nick Newman says more people were at home during that time.

“Proximity to that stuff that’s maybe not being stored well and not being taught how to respect firearms appropriately,” Newman says.

Newman says many people will keep guns and ammo separate when it comes to storage. There are also locked vaults or safes. If you want a gun by your bedside, there are options for safe storage.

“There are smaller ones with rapid touch that you could open with a keypad or a small key lock so that it’s instantly available to you if you need it in the middle of the night for some reason but not available to kids during the day,” Newman says.

Cody Carrington is a gun owner and a father to an eight-year-old boy.

That’s why Carrington says he keeps his guns locked in a safe and out of reach.

Carrington says he started talking to and educating his son about guns a few years ago.

“Almost daily conversations because we have Nerf guns at home and so just really solidifying that this is a toy and this is not, so we make regular trips to the range and really show him that hole in the paper could easily be a hole in a person if you’re not careful,” Carrington says.

Even if you aren’t a gun owner, Carrington says these conversations are crucial.

“Whether you’re for firearms or against firearms, it’s definitely important for your child to know that because if your kids are over at a friend’s house and that friend’s parents might be a gun owner and a gun advocate,” Carrington says. “If your child doesn’t know that’s not a nerf gun and picks it up, they could harm somebody.”

Another thing to consider is writing down a list of rules regarding gun safety for your family.

Newman also suggests taking classes offered by professionals.

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