This year, on February 14th, was the 3rd anniversary of the Parkland shooting.
In February 2018, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz opened fire at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He killed 17 innocent people and injured 17 others.
As pediatric providers, it is part of our job to discuss gun violence and safety.
As noted by the American Academy of Pediatrics, "...the safest home for a child is one without guns."
What can we do to protect our children from gun violence?
1️⃣Keep them locked, unloaded, and store ammunition separately. Children are curious at heart! They want to explore and learn. Even if that means getting into unsafe scenarios or risky situations.
2️⃣Talk with your kids. Explain the importance of gun safety. Tell them never to touch or pick up a gun if they see one.
3️⃣Find out if there are guns and if they are stored safely when they go to a friend's home.
4️⃣Monitor what they are watching on television and what games they are playing.
5️⃣Mental health matters. "More than 90 percent of suicide attempts with a gun are deadly and teens in homes with firearms are at higher risk for committing suicide." (https://www.mottchildren.org). Seek help immediately if you are concerned about a loved one's mental health.
Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, 24/7.