Age-specific tips for talking to kids about gun violence

Pediatrician Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson has advice on how parents can talk to their kids about violence like what we saw in Las Vegas.

Seattle Mama Doc, Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, has tips to help you talk to children through what happened with the senseless gun violence in Las Vegas.

Early elementary

•    They don’t know reality vs. fantasy

•    Keep information simple and brief

•    No need to introduce information if they don’t know

Middle school

•    Need help distinguishing reality from fantasy

•    May ask more questions about safety

•    Give simple, honest answers

High school

•    Know reality from fantasy

•    Can be easy to distort reality during events like this

•    May form strong opinions about violence in schools

•    Emphasize their role in maintaining safety

Gun statistics

•    1 in 3 homes with children in the U.S. have guns

•    More than 40 percent of gun-owning households with kids keep the firearm unlocked

•    Suicide risk is nine-times higher where guns kept unlocked


What parents should know

•    Always ask if guns are present when your child visits another home

•    Children who see guns in movies may be more likely to hold a gun and pull the trigger

•    Keep your guns locked and unloaded stored separately from ammunition

•    Safe storage = 75 percent reduction in the risk of firearm suicide and unintentional shootings


Helpful links

•    Apps to use during an emergency

•    Seattle Mama Doc post on asking about guns

•    Seattle Mama Doc post on safe gun storage

© 2017 KING-TV


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