Tips for teaching gun safety to your children
Whether you’re planning on teaching your child to hunt or simply speaking to them about the importance of gun safety; it’s important to educate your child on the do’s and don’ts of handling a gun. Take this topic seriously, so your children feel the gravity of subject and don’t play with guns carelessly.
Take the mystery out of guns
Children are more likely to gravitate towards playing with things that are treated as forbidden and mysterious. Eliminate that mystery factor by teaching your kids about guns, and allowing them to safely handle the guns that you have in your home. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should keep your guns loaded and within arm’s reach.
Once you’ve made sure that your gun is unloaded, allow your child to point the gun in a safe direction and teach them how to check whether the chamber and magazine are empty. Once they’ve been able to feel the gun in their hands, it won’t be such a mystery to them and they’ll be less likely to try to do this behind your back.
Show them what a gun is capable of
Guns are often seen in cartoons, TV shows, and other types of media and may not be presented as dangerous in all aspects. Whether you take your children to a shooting range and allow them to check out a target once it’s smashed to bits, or allow them to see the bloody holes in the animals you’ve hunted, it’s important that your child understands the damage a small or large gun can do.
Teach the difference between real and play guns
Your children may have play guns, water guns, or other fake gun accessories laying around the house that they use for imaginative play. Assist your child in how to determine the difference between real guns and gun accessories, and toy guns. Whether it’s the gun safe in your den, pistol you carry on your hip, or your new top of the line rangefinder, it’s important that your child is able to differentiate between what is acceptable for play and what is not.
Teach them gun safety
Once your child understands the importance of not playing with real guns, and what a gun can do if it is shot, show your children how to properly handle a gun if they are to ever encounter one; whether that be in your home or not. Teaching your child that if they see a firearm, to treat it as if it were loaded and dangerous is first and foremost.
According to kidshealth.org, children as small as 3 years old have the finger strength to pull a trigger. Explaining to your child that it’s important to leave the area if a gun is seen is important in keeping your child safe and unharmed, as well as teaching them to tell an adult right away.
Whether you’re an avid hunter and hope for your children to be as well, or you’re against owning firearms and keeping them in the home; it’s still just as important to educate your children on the dangers of improper firearm use. Keep your children safe by educating them early on, and keeping your firearms unloaded, out of reach, and locked away safely.