Guns are such a big part of our culture today that even if you don’t own a gun yourself, there’s a good chance that at some point your child will come into contact with a firearm whether that is at a friends house, relatives house, school, or one abandoned on the streets. Make sure from a young age that your child understands the proper way to react when coming into contact to remain safe from harm.
Before you can teach your child the most important points of gun safety, you yourself must first understand yourself these principles. That doesn’t mean you necessarily have to become a gun expert even if you don’t own a gun, but at least be familiar with the safety, clip, and other key components for gun safety. Those who do own a firearm of any type should be well acquainted with their gun. Once you have the proper knowledge you can begin to teach your children this information as well.
Keep Communication Open
The lines of communication need to be open with your child when it comes to gun safety. Even if you try to keep firearms completely out of your child’s life, there is always a chance they will come across them, especially if you keep guns in the home. Talk with your toddler, teaching them that while guns shouldn’t necessarily be feared, they should be respected. Naturally even from a young age children will be curious about these weapons. Make sure the information they get is from you, not from their friends or television shows.
Fake vs. Real
There is a big market for toy guns designed for kids of all ages. Toddlers can have the chance to play with these faux weapons, building unrealistic expectations of how these guns work. Firearms used in movies are not often treated with respect, and the same goes for these toy guns. Make it clear to your child that there is a distinct difference between these, a real firearm being much more dangerous than those in the movies or even their toys. Even at this age your toddler should know never to touch your real firearms without their permission to prevent dangerous accidents. Teaching this at a young age will help avoid curiosity, and may even be instrumental in helping your children stand up to their friends in a potentially dangerous situation.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to teach your children about gun safety. Aside from owning a secure gun safe, this is the most important task for those who own firearms. Even those who do not own weapons such as these should recognize that their child, even at a young age, may have an unsupervised encounter with a gun. Make sure your child will know what to do in these situations, preventing a dangerous and unnecessary accident from occurring.