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Another Shot at Safety

Another Shot at Safety

In 1877, 17-year-old Frank Eaton, aka Pistol Pete, was commissioned as a U.S. Marshall. He lived by the gun -- but died from natural causes after a long, full life at age 97. Unfortunately, many stories about youngsters and guns don’t have such happy endings. In 2013 researchers at the national conference of the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that in the U.S. around 7,500 kids a year (more than 20 every day) were hospitalized for gunshot wounds. About 500 die in the hospital.

And there are other ways guns harm kids. For example, lead-filled dust lingers in the air at many indoor firing ranges, contaminating range workers and visitors and making them sick. The lead dust also travels home on their skin and clothes where their children are put at risk for lead poisoning.

We know it’s your right to have a gun, but you and your children also have the right to be safe from gun-inflicted dangers. So, keep ammo and guns in separate locked locations out of children’s reach, warn kids about the danger of playing with any firearm, and ask your gun range for proof of top-notch sanitation and air filtering. Now we’re done shooting our mouths off!

Medically reviewed in July 2018.

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