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Aim for Safety

Aim for safety

When we have firearms in our homes, we must take certain steps to protect our children from accidental shootings. Cook Children's Aim for Safety® initiative is designed to help reduce the number injuries we see every year among children through gun safety education. This is not about whether guns are right or wrong. It's about protecting our children.

Cook Children's is looking for parents of children ages 4-12 years old to participate in a gun safety research project.

The study takes place on the Cook Children's main campus in Fort Worth, TX, and participants must be willing to attend the onsite sessions.

  • Participating in the study is completely FREE.
  • Study includes one visit to Cook Children's Medical Center and two follow-up phone calls.
  • Parents will receive information on how they can obtain free firearm safety devices.

This project is being conducted by Dan Guzman, M.D., a Cook Children's Emergency Department physician.

If you are interested in participating, please submit this short survey:

Participate in survey

NOTE: If you are logged into a Cook Children's computer, or accessing Cook Children's wi-fi network, please use this link instead:

Participate in survey

"It won't happen to us" is a common theme among children and accidental injuries such as gun shootings.

However, the numbers tell a different story. In 2017, there were at least 26 children ages 0-11 in the state of Texas alone that were accidentally killed because a gun was not safely locked away.

One out of every three homes with children in the U.S. has a gun. In Texas, 36% of adults have a household firearm, and over 199,000 children currently live with unlocked loaded firearms in their home.

Steps to protect your child

We encourage you to take the following steps to protect your child from being a part of an accidental shooting:

Safe storage

  • Store firearms unloaded and in locked locations, out of reach of children.
  • Use trigger locks and gun boxes.
  • Secure ammunition separately.
  • Hide gun safe and trigger lock keys.
  • Keep unlocked guns in your possession.
  • Make sure all guns are equipped with effective, child-resistant gun locks.
  • If a visitor has a gun in a backpack, briefcase, handbag, or unlocked car, provide them with a locked place to keep it when in your home.

Safe play

If your child sees a gun, teach them to:

  • Stop.
  • Don't touch.
  • Run away.
  • Tell a grown up.

Safe children

  • Ask the parents of your child's friends if they have guns in their homes and how they are being stored.
  • If you are asked about your guns, don't be offended.
  • Aim for Safety is for advocating gun safety and gun safety only.
  • This information is to aid gun owners in protecting not only their own children, but also those that enter their home.

Why is this important?

We can't assume that a child doesn't know where the guns in the house are hidden or that they do not know how to operate one. Children are exposed to violence and guns through media and video games and it may be difficult for them to separate which one is real and which one is not.

You must explain to your kids how a gun on TV or a video game is much different than one in real life. In addition, BB and pellet guns have been proven to be dangerous, despite the common belief that they are harmless.

  • 19 children killed or injured daily
  • 350 million guns in the U.S.
  • 1 of 3 homes with kids have guns
  • 1,300 children die yearly due to gun related death
  • Over 500 children killed or injured in Texas yearly due to gun related death
  • 36% of Texas households own a gun
  • 199,000 children in Texas live with unlocked loaded firearms
  • Harris and Tarrant counties have the highest number of registered firearms
  • 54% of cases seen by Cook Children's from 2012-16 occurred in the home

Aim for safety: Safe storage. Safe children. Safe play.