Safe Kids Benton-Franklin issue gun safety warning, following accidental shooting
TRI-CITIES, Wash. - Safe Kids Benton Franklin, urge gun owners to safely store their weapons using simple tips in order to help keep kids safe.
Safe Kids Benton Franklin educator, Kathleen Clary-Cooke said “An average of 6,000 kids a year are treated in emergency room for gun related injuries or deaths, 1,300 kids in America die from guns and that's the third leading cause of death behind unintentional injuries and disease."
The statistics are sobering and Clary-Cooke said the majority of those shooting deaths are preventable.
Clary-Cooke said “if someone is going to own a firearm they absolutely have to have some kind of a safe storage device to go with it.”
Clary-Cooke said gun locks should also be child resistant.
It means storing it unloaded, locked and with the ammunition locked somewhere else, Clary-Cooke said.
She said it’s important for children not to know the safe combination or where the key is kept in your home.
“Parents should definitely talk to their kids because even if you don't have guns in your house someone else might.”
Clary-Cooke understands it can be a difficult conversation to have however she suggests putting it on yourself.
“You can say my child is really curious and I’m just worried their going to go pocking around where they don't belong is there any chance you do have guns in your home and if so how are they stored.”
Clary-Cooke said make sure that you're teaching your kids not to touch firearms but also understand that kids are impulsive and they don't always make the best decisions.
“Our hearts really go out to this family because we love our kids and will do anything to keep them safe but somewhere a momentary lapse has resulted in a child who’s critically injured at the hands of another child and we just don't want this to happen to any family,” said Clary-Cooke.
Gun locks are available for free in several different locations in our community including:
Hermiston Police Department (541)567-5519
Benton Franklin Public Health (509)460-4200