Just like many Americans, I cannot stop thinking about the recent school shootings in Newtown and I continue to see the faces of the victims, despite the fact that I have stopped watching any media coverage as it is just too difficult.
But, with every 5, 6 and 7 year old child I see, I am reminded of the fragility of life. I am also reminded about gun safety and the need to teach parents that the safest home for children and teens is one without guns.
I will start this off admitting that I am not a hunter or a gun owner. Although I am the parent of 3 sons, while they hunt, they would not be considered active hunters. Like many of our friends, we did not have the alerts on our calendars set for the beginning of dove or deer season, and the only turkey they have hunted is in the grocery store.
We do not own guns and I am not comfortable around guns. I guess my children are not gun enthusiasts either and need more education. My youngest son has 12 stitches in his brow from a scoping accident on Thanksgiving Day several years ago. This accident occurred while he with his big brothers shooting skeet at a friend's farm. That phone call alone was scary enough for me. Mom there has been an accident followed by iPhone pictures of his injury. Thankfully we know a friendly plastic surgeon who stitches at home on holidays!
I see no need for guns to be kept at home. If parents do have guns they need to be locked in a gun safe! Despite this recommendation, according to the AAP, 38% of American households own guns, and in households with children under the age of 18, many guns remained unlocked. The presence of guns in the home is known to increase the risk of death from suicide or homicide, so why do parents not worry?
I also know that teens, especially teenage boys who have any history of anger issues, depression or mental illness DO NOT need to
Both pools and trampolines are fun for children, and both do pose dangers. But as my own children often told me "according to you Mom, everything that is really fun, is dangerous!" The biggest issue surrounding children playing in pools and jumping on trampolines is parental supervision. When children are taught safety and are given rules to follow that are then enforced, they may have fun and be safe at the same time. Pools are fenced, and gated. Parents watch their children swim. This is usually the party line. But trampolines also require the same amount of supervision and many parents don't realize this. Most trampoline injuries occur when children are unsupervised. Many serious trampoline accidents occur when children of disproportionate weights are doubling jumping and the smaller child becomes a missile and is thrown from the trampoline when serious neck injuries may occur. Trampolines are also safest when they are buried in the ground or have safety nets on the side. Letting children jump unsupervised is as dangerous as swimming alone. So, I can't resolve this friendly discussion, but I do know that both pools and trampolines require parental supervision and strict safety rules to ensure the safest possible experience. And yes, they are both fun! That's your daily dose, we'll chat again soon.