Surprisingly, the new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, "Firearm-Related Injuries Affecting the Pediatric Population," is getting little attention.
Or maybe that shouldn't be surprising considering how little attention childhood gun violence and gun deaths get these days. Even in an election year, the issue of gun violence has rarely been brought up.
That's unfortunate, as even with declines, the AAP states that "firearm-related deaths continue as 1 of the top 3 causes of death in American youth."
This new policy statement will hopefully renew interest in protecting our kids from firearm-related injuries, which include not only unintentional injuries, like when a child finds a loaded gun under a bed or in a drawer and shoots himself or one of his siblings, but also suicides and homicides.
It is a tragedy that our kids lead other developed nations not in things like education or graduation rates, but rather in firearm homicide rates, firearm suicide rates, and death rates from unintentional firearm-related injuries.
As gun avoidance programs, such as the Eddie Eagle program, "do not prevent risk behaviors and may even increase gun handling among children," it is time for everyone to get the AAP message that "the most effective measure to prevent suicide, homicide, and unintentional firearm-related injuries to children and adolescents is the absence of guns from homes and communities."