In actuality the use of BB guns is no laughing matter.
According to the CDC, over 21,000 people are seen in hospitals yearly for BB wounds, of those 80% are less than 18 years of age.
Dayton Children’s Hospital has seen 13 children in the Emergency Department in the last year due to BB gun injures and six of these children were admitted to the hospital. There have been 9 children with BB wound injuries in the last 2 months and two were shot in the head. Not all of them are serious but some of them do have critical injures. The number of BB wound injuries reported is a lot higher than usual which is cause for concern.
BB guns are not toys and represent a serious threat to children. Small children are at even greater risk because the smaller the child, the more likely the BB will penetrate into the body resulting in life threatening injuries.
To ensure the safest environment for your family follow these safety tips:
- A BB gun is a gun.
- Parents should closely supervise children using BB guns.
- Shoot only at targets where no one can accidently be shot.
- Take the ammunition out of the gun.
- Lock the ammunition and store it apart from the gun.
- Lock the gun and keep it out of reach of kids. Hiding the gun is not enough.
- Store the keys for the gun and the ammunition in a different area from where you store household keys. Keep the keys out of reach of children.
- Lock up gun-cleaning supplies, which are often poisonous.
- When handling or cleaning a gun, adults should never leave the gun unattended.
Rules to tell your children if they come in contact with a gun:
- Stop what they’re doing and leave the immediate area if there is a gun.
- Do not touch the gun.
- Tell an adult right away.
Lisa Schwing, RN, has been the trauma manager at the Soin Pediatric Trauma and Emergency Center for 8 years. Prior to that, Schwing worked at Dayton Children’s for 7 years as the emergency department resource educator. She has 17 years of adult emergency department experience; working at St. Elizabeth Medical Center and Miami Valley Hospital emergency departments. Schwing attended Miami Valley Hospital School of Nursing. She is actively involved in Safe Kids Greater Dayton, a local organization dedicated to prevention childhood injuries and is a certified child passenger safety technician.