Fort Worth Designates August 'Gun Safety Awareness Month'
Cook Children's Aim for Safety program is designed to help reduce the number of injuries we see every year among children through gun safety education.
Cook Children’s and the Aim for Safety program supported a proclamation Tuesday evening at Fort Worth City Council that designated August as “Gun Safety Awareness Month.” This proclamation, set forth by councilwoman Jeanette Martinez of District 11, made Fort Worth one of four Texas cities recognizing the new awareness month. The designation will serve as an annual reminder about the importance of keeping guns locked up and away from children.
According to the latest available data (June 30), Cook Children’s has treated 29 patients for gunshot wounds in 2023. Two of those patients died from their injuries.
Findings from Cook Children’s 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment survey revealed:
- Of households with guns in Cook Children’s eight-county service area, 1 in 5 children live in a home with guns that are not always safely locked away (locking up the firearm and storing ammunition in a separate location).
- Ten percent of young children, 20% of 6–11 year olds and 30% of 12–17 year olds live in a home with a gun that is not always safely locked away.
“As a physician focused on injury prevention, I know local leaders are instrumental in educating children and families about the risks unlocked guns pose in the home,” said Daniel Guzman, M.D., emergency medicine physician and program director of the Aim for Safety program at Cook Children’s. “We’re grateful for the leadership Fort Worth has shown on this important issue.”
Partners in this proclamation included Lock Arms for Life, a Texas-based nonprofit that works every day to get all guns locked when not in use.
Aim for safety. Safe storage. Safe children. Safe play.
When we have firearms in our homes, we must take certain steps to protect our children from unintentional shootings. Cook Children's Aim for Safety® initiative is designed to help reduce the number of 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.
Step 1. Safe Storage
- 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.
Step 2. Safe Children
If your child sees a real gun or sees someone aiming a toy gun at others, teach them to:
- Don't touch.
- Run away.
- Tell a grown up.
Step 3. Safe Play
- 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 paintball 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.