Fort Worth, TX,
13:55 PM

Cook Children’s has Treated 16 Non-Fatal Firearm-Related Injuries in 2022

Since 2017, Cook Children’s has treated 344 firearm injuries, 16 of which were fatal.

Aim for Safety launches unique partnership with Defender Outdoors

Friday, June 3 marks Gun Violence Awareness Day, also known as the Wear Orange Day to honor survivors and victims of gun violence.

Cook Children’s Health Care System has treated 16 non-fatal firearm-related injuries so far from January through April of this year. Of those 16 injuries, 14 were unintentional, and two were assault injuries. There have been zero fatal firearm-related injuries  in 2022.

Since 2017, Cook Children’s has treated 344 firearm injuries, 16 of which were fatal.

Cook Children's Aim for Safety® initiative is designed to help reduce the number injuries we see every year among children through gun safety education. This is not about whether guns are right or wrong. It's about taking the necessary steps to protect our children.

Calendar yearFatalNon-fatalTotal

Aim for Safety interactive kiosk

Cook Children’s Aim for Safety® program has a new way to educate families on gun safety through an interactive kiosk that teaches children what to do if they discover a firearm in a home — all while reinforcing safe-storage techniques for adult gun owners. aim for safety

The mobile kiosk, which stands more than 7-feet high and resembles a giant smartphone, rolled out in December at Defender Outdoors, a sports shooting and outdoors equipment retailer in Fort Worth. As part of a first-time collaboration with Cook Children’s, the kiosk was placed near the check-out registers in hopes it attracts the attention of parents and children alike.

The Aim for Safety educational kiosk — activated by touch — uses advanced technology to engage and teach children as they progress through four levels, stumbling upon unsecured guns hidden in places such as cabinets and drawers while moving through a virtual home. If they find a gun, they must correctly answer questions on how to safely handle the situation in order to progress through the program. Other gun safety-related questions are asked as objects in the rooms are found and touched.

The kiosk is another way the hospital system can further its reach in the community and educate more families about the safe handling and storage of firearms, says Amy Johnson, program coordinator for the Center for Children’s Health (C4CH) and Safe Kids North Texas Coalition led by Cook Children’s.

Aim for Safety program

Gun awareness and gun safety is a passion for Dan Guzman, M.D., Medical Director of the Aim for Safety program at Cook Children’s. Dr. Guzman is asking gun owners to take action and store their firearms properly and to take personal responsibility for our children’s safety.

Dr. Guzman stressed that children are curious and impulsive which can be deadly when paired with a firearm. Storing a loaded firearm under the mattress, in a bedside table or a closet is placing your family at risk, Dr. Guzman added.

The most secure place for your firearm is in a safe with the ammunition stored separately. Unsecured firearms should always be in your possession. If you are unable to purchase a gun safe, then separating the ammunition from the firearm and using a cable or trigger lock will help reduce the risk of unintentional injury to your child.

“It’s important to assess and evaluate your home injury risk and find ways to reduce the hazards in your home whether it is related to firearms, water safety, poisonings or any other safety risks,” Dr. Guzman said. “Discussing with your children the importance of what to do when they encounter a firearm can help to reduce unintentional injury in your home."

Help your kids learn and follow the 3-step rules:

Safe storage: 

Parents and caretakers should always ensure safe storage in your own home and the homes you visit. Store firearms unloaded and in locked locations, out of reach of children.

  • Use trigger locks and gun boxes.
  • Secure ammunition separately.
  • Hide gun safe and trigger lock keys.
  • Keep unlocked guns in your possession.
  • Make sure all guns are equipped with effective, child-resistant gun locks.
  • If a visitor has a gun in a backpack, briefcase, handbag, or unlocked car, provide them with a locked place to keep it when in your home.

Safe children: 

If your child sees a real gun or sees someone aiming a toy gun at others, teach them to:

  • Stop.
  • Don't touch.
  • Run away.
  • Tell a grown up.

Safe play for non-powder guns:

  • When non-powder guns are in use, there are a few things to remember to help prevent injury:
    • Never aim BB guns or pellet guns at another person
    • When using a paint ball gun, gel bead gun, water bead gun, or soft foam gun, players should be properly attired and wear safety glasses at all times.
  • Ask the parents of your child's friends if they have guns in their homes and how they are being stored.
  • If you are asked about your guns, don't be offended.
  • Aim for Safety is for advocating gun safety and gun safety only.
  • This information is to aid gun owners in protecting not only their own children, but also those that enter their home.