An Evaluation of Gun Storage Practices and Safety Outreach
Jennifer S. McLeod, MD1; Carolyn Backes, RN, BSN, TCRN2; Breanna A. Borg, B.S.3; Amrit Misra, MD4; Amie Hinshaw, MD4; Justin Klein, MD4; Christina Shanti, MD2; Lydia Donoghue, MD4
1Wayne State University Michael and Marian Ilitch Department is Surgery, Ann Arbor, MI; 2Children's Hospital of Michigan, detroit, MI; 3Wayne State University School of Medicine, Royal Oak, MI; 4Children's Hospital of Michigan, Detroit, MI
Background: Firearm-related pediatric injuries remain a public health problem. The purpose was to evaluate gun storage practices, and use retrospective statistics from our institution to target safety initiatives.
Methods: Surveys were handed out by pediatric-surgery and general-pediatric departments at a Level 1 Trauma Institution. Families were educated on gun safety, and gun-locks were handed out at local Health/Safety Events. Zipcode data from surveys was compared to retrospective data of gun-wound statistics from our hospital, and used to focus gun-safety initiatives in high-risk communities. Descriptive statistics were used.
Results: Gun-safety initiatives began February 2018, with 84 surveys completed, 2 events held in the highest-risk communities, and 10 free gun-locks handed out thus far. Of those who completed surveys, majority were caregivers of pediatric patients (95.2% Age <18; 43% male; 57% female). Most did not own guns (68%). Of those that did, 52% did not own a gun-safe/gun-lock. Of those with gun-locks, 89% claimed they used them. Guns were used for protection (53%), recreation (20%), or both (27%). Of the children who presented to our hospital with gunshot wounds (n=349) from 2013-2017, 250 (72%) were from zipcodes captured in our surveys.
Conclusion: Zipcode data is being used to guide safety-outreach. Most people with gun-locks used them. However, half did not own gun-locks. We aim to reach out to high-risk neighborhoods with gun safety education and free gun-locks.
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