Pediatricians call for gun safety education and increased funding for treatment

December 29, 2012

Excellent article in the New England Journal of Medicine where pediatricians Judith and Sean Palfrey call for more education for pediatricians around gun safety and more state and local funding to effective treatment of young people who are identified by parents, schools, and law-enforcement or mental health professionals as being at high risk for committing interpersonal violent acts.

Kudo’s to the increasing number of pediatricians who are not only saying “enough is enough” but are also recognizing that funding for the effective treatment of young people is a critical component in the complex issue of gun violence such as the tragic incident at Sandy Hook Elementary.

  • Excerpt from the NEJM article
    As practicing pediatricians who have lost patients to gun violence, we join our colleagues in mourning the 20 children and their teachers who were killed in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012. Our sadness is deepened by our knowledge that the deaths, terror, and post-traumatic stress of the relatives and friends left behind could have been prevented…

    … How can we prevent gun injuries? We know the behaviors that place children and adolescents at high risk. Little children explore their worlds without understanding danger, and in one unsupervised moment, an encounter with a gun can end in fatality. School-age children often enter the worlds created by television shows, movies, and video games. Because of their developmental age, school-age children don’t necessarily understand that people who are really shot may really die. A firearm in their hands can transform fantasy into tragedy. Even in our own lives, this risk has been manifest: to this day, one of us is haunted by the childhood memory of aiming a loaded rifle at a babysitter.

  • Read the complete article here.

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