Researchers advise parents to discuss gun safety with children

Parents who own guns are far more likely to discuss firearm safety with their children, according to recently released poll results from a University of Michigan hospital.

Of the more than 1,600 parents who participated in the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health, approximately one-third of those with children 5-17 years old reported having a gun in the home. Although 82 percent of those who owned guns discussed firearm safety with their children -- most within the past year -- only 48 percent of those who did not own guns had similar discussions.

The survey also found that 24 percent of parents who did not own a gun are "very worried" their child could suffer a gun injury in a friend's home, compared with 10 percent of gun owners.

"Parents need to learn how to talk to their children about gun safety, whether they own a gun or not, to be sure their children are prepared should they ever encounter a situation where a gun is present," said Matthew Davis, associate professor of pediatric and internal medicine at Ann Arbor-based U-M.

U-M also offers information on gun safety and children.

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