With firearms found in almost half the households across the United States, gun safety for kids is critical. There is a beneficial accident prevention program, Eddie Eagle Program, to help parents, law enforcement, community groups and educators teach children not to play with guns. With three short videos featuring Eddie Eagle and his Wing Team, children are engaged, while learning the powerful message of gun safety.
The program is designed to educate through repetition and simple rules, like the fire drill equivalent of stop, drop and roll. With this learning format, pre-K through 4th graders learn that when they see a gun, their reaction should be:
- Don’t touch.
- Run Away.
- Tell a grown up.
Toledo, Ohio police officer, Joe Okos, uses the Eddie Eagle Program to teach elementary children what to do if they find a firearm. “The program really helped me drive the message of safety home.”
Consider introducing gun safety for kids when a child first shows an interest in firearms and continue to discuss gun safety often. Follow these helpful gun safety and education guidelines:
- Talk about safety with your kids in a broad sense and introduce firearms safety as part of the discussion.
- Explain the difference between pretend violence on TV, in video games and movies versus real life violence and its consequences.
- Introduce the four rules above and repeat them frequently.
- Answer all your child’s questions honestly to help remove the mystery surrounding guns.
- Don’t simply tell a child to stay out of your gun closet and leave it at that. It may just pique their curiosity and have the opposite effect you intended.
- Make sure to apply your rules to everyone who enters the household to keep your child from being tempted to show a gun to visitors.
- Store all firearms where they are not accessible to children and other unauthorized people.
To ensure the next generation remains safe and has a healthy respect for firearms, always store your guns in a safe place and teach your children the important rules of gun safety. These actions will help keep your kids safe and set a positive example for them as potential future gun owners.