Hunting Down Safety!

David & Gun
David & Daddy!

David & Daddy!

Is your family full of hunters and hunt-ettes? Here in sportsman’s paradise (Louisiana), the opening of hunting season is a holiday in itself! Before heading out to the woods, make sure your little animal is safe while enjoying the great outdoors.

ORANGE you going to wear camouflage?

Blending in with the woods is an important part of hunting, but what if other hunters mistake your fawn for a real deer?  Dress the kiddos in hunter orange so that they stand out and can’t possibly be mistaken for game. It may surprise you, but most hunting incidents are due to hunters mistaking each other for targets.  Lead by example and announce to other hunters that you are near when moving in the woods.  Also avoid using duck or turkey calls, which are often mistaken for real fowl.

Unload before it explodes!

If you are letting your little duckling carry a firearm, make sure the gun is not loaded. Teach your kiddo how to carry a gun correctly at all times. Teach them to keep the gun pointed at the ground or in a safe direction, keep the safety on until immediately before they are ready to shoot, and to keep their finger outside of the trigger guard.   Remind them that any gun could be loaded and they should handle with care.

Hunting Squirrel? The Eagle Knows Best!

dAVID AND dEER

David & Deer!

Make sure children understand that guns are to only be used in the presence of an adult. Remember the Eddie Eagle Rules if your child finds a gun: “Stop. Don’t Touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult.” Also make sure kids understand the damage a bullet can do, and why it is so important to follow these rules. Being open and honest with kids about the capabilities of a gun and why we need to be safe, is far more effective than simply ordering them to “stay away from the gun cabinet”.

Curiosity killed the cat.

Even after teaching kids the Eddie Eagle rules, often curiosity will win.  Keep ammunition and guns locked and out of reach from children.  Never underestimate a child’s curiosity, especially if they are with friends and distracted by having a fun time and/or trying to showing off.

Will YOU shoot for safety with your kids?

Yes, the lingo hunting for “wild game” is right on target! But, remember to teach your kids: GUNS are no GAME and to never play with guns. If you’ll be bringing your little TURKEY on this year’s hunting trip, make sure you GOBBLE down some safety! Take a look at our previous gun safety article at http://www.lexleeskids.org/gun-safety/shoot-for-safety.

For more information about hunting and gun safety visit www.NRA.org.  To request the Eddie Eagle Gun Safety program at your school, visit www.lexleeskids.org or call 225.372.3991. HAPPY HUNTING!

The Lexlee’s Kids Shoot for Safety program is sponsored by Friends of NRA Louisiana (Baton Rouge, LA).

Co-written by: Erica Casanova, 2013 Fall SLU Intern

Shoot for Safety!

gun safety 2

BANG-BANG! POW-POW! STICK EM’ UP! Do you aim to keep your kids safe? With brilliant little minds at work exploring, adults must hold fire on firearms. Parents play a key role in developing safe practices and are ultimately responsible for the behavior and safety of their children. Because lessons can be quickly forgotten, repetition will help children remember. Sure, your kids may know better at home, but what about when they are at a friend or family member’s house…or even at school?  Making sure your children know the basic rules of firearms will stay with and help keep them safe no matter where they are. According to federal statistics, there are guns in approximately half of all U.S. households. Even if no one in your home owns a gun, chances are that someone you know does. Most child shootings are not due to violence, but unintentional death and injury (accidental shootings).

It is very difficult for a child to tell the difference between real and toy guns, and curiosity will get the best of them almost every time!  Guns are featured in many forms of media and many heroes carry guns! It is important for kids to know that real guns are dangerous and can hurt or even kill someone they know and love.

Firearms are often handled carelessly on TV. Children see characters shot and “killed”, then see that same character jump up and keep running or appear on another show, confusion between entertainment and real life is very possible. It may be a mistake to assume that your child knows the difference between being “killed” on TV and in reality.

If your child has toy guns, you may want to use them to demonstrate safe gun handling and to explain how they differ from genuine firearms. Even though an unsupervised child should not have access to a gun, there should be no chance that he or she could mistake a real gun for a toy.

In Louisiana guns and hunting are a part of our culture, which make training and supervision very important! If you have decided, your child is not ready or will not be trained to handle a gun, teach him or her to follow the instructions of NRA’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program. If you find a gun:

STOP!

Don’t Touch.

Leave the Area.

Tell an Adult.

The initial steps of “Stop” and “Don’t Touch” are the most important. To counter the natural impulse to touch a gun, it is imperative that you impress these steps of the safety message upon your child.

In today’s society, where adult supervision may not always possible, the direction to “Leave the Area” is also essential. Under some circumstances, area may be understood to be a room if your child cannot physically leave the apartment or house.

“Tell an Adult” emphasizes that children should seek a trustworthy adult, neighbor, relative or teacher – if a parent or guardian is not available. Make sure your child knows to bring the adult to the gun, NOT the gun to the adult!

Make sure your kids also know it is never funny to say you have a gun or threaten to shoot someone. These words are taken seriously and the police may be called. These pranks do not end up being fun for anyone involved.

Adults should take caution by keeping guns out of sight, out of reach and secure from little ones in the home.  Remember…Education is the Prevention that saves lives!

Are guns a part of your family? How will you shoot for safety in your home and make sure your kids are safe when away from home? Join hands with Lexlee’s Kids in caring for your kid’s safety. If you have questions or comments about gun safety feel free to post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225-372-3991. Have your child’s school contact us to have the Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program presented to students!

Article Co-Written by: Ebony Franklin (2012 Fall SLU Intern)

The Lexlee’s Kids Shoot for Safety program is sponsored by Friends of NRA Louisiana (Baton Rouge, LA).