In 1990, the country took action to decrease the amount of gun violence present in schools across the nation by passing the federal Gun-Free School Zones Act originally part of the Crime Control Act. Now, a pending bill called the Safe Students Act, H.R. 34, proposes repealing prohibition of guns on school campuses and would threaten that protection. As pediatricians committed to improving children’s health and safety, we must help prevent this dangerous bill from becoming a law. (more…)
Dr. Nancy Kelly authored a policy brief on July 15, 2014 emphasizing the importance of family counseling and legislative advocacy in preventing pediatric injury and death from firearms. Since then, the American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) has updated their recommendations regarding keeping our children safe from gun violence. Additionally, new bills have been filed for consideration during the 84th meeting of the Texas Legislature that have the power to impact pediatricians and their patients positively or negatively. Recent tragic events in Boston shed light on the need for increased firearm regulations, especially in health care settings.
Just as pediatricians discuss poison prevention or using car safety restraints, we must also counsel patient-families on prevention of firearm-related injuries and deaths. Pediatricians are in a unique position to provide anticipatory guidance to families about ways to keep children safe from firearms, particularly in light of the threat which children face from guns. (more…)