Program Raises Pediatricians' Consciousness about Kids and Guns

Development of a training network to prevent firearm injuries among children

From 1996 to 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Elk Grove Village, Ill., developed and oversaw the Firearm Injury Prevention Training Project to provide pediatricians with the skills and the resources necessary to reduce firearm injuries and deaths among children.

Though alarming numbers of children are injured and killed by firearms, an AAP survey found that few pediatricians advised parents on firearm safety.

Key Results

  • In March 1998, the Firearm Injury Prevention Training Project organized a two-day Firearm Injury Prevention Training Conference in Chicago, which was attended by 104 members from 54 AAP chapters from around the country.
  • Each participant committed to training 25 additional health care providers in their home regions to advise parents on ways to protect their children from firearm-related injuries.

    By the close of the grant period, conference participants had trained 1,942 health care providers.
  • The AAP also developed and disseminated various types of literature to aid health care providers in training and advising others about firearm safety.
  • A survey of a small number of project trainees found that most had stepped up their efforts to identify and advise gun-owning parents.