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Survey: Gun violence prevention a big issue for most pediatricians :

August 10, 2016

Pediatricians see firsthand the effects of gun violence in the lives of children and their families. Nearly one in seven pediatricians reported treating or consulting on a gun injury in the past 12 months, and the large majority of pediatricians (88%) agree violence prevention should be a priority for all pediatricians, according to an AAP Periodic Survey of Fellows.

The survey asked pediatricians to report on their experiences providing clinical care for gun injuries and counseling on gun injury prevention as well as their attitudes toward practices and policies that might reduce gun injuries in children. Results showed:

  • Pediatricians were more likely to report treating a gun injury if they were in an inner-city practice location (26%) compared to urban, non-inner city (20%), rural (10%) or suburban (6%) area.
  • More than half of pediatricians (55%) reported gun violence is a problem in their practice community.
  • The majority of pediatricians (70%) agreed they are comfortable discussing firearm safety in their practice, but only 20% agreed there is sufficient time in patient visits to address firearm safety.
  • Over a third of pediatricians (36%) reported that parents resent being asked about firearms.
  • The majority of pediatricians reported that in their health supervision counseling they always or sometimes identify families with firearms in the home as well as recommend that parents unload and lock firearms (see table).

Periodic Survey #86 was conducted from August 2013 to January 2014. Surveys were mailed to 1,624 non-retired AAP members in the U.S., with a response rate of 44%. Analysis was limited to 654 pediatricians, including residents, who provide direct patient care.

Pediatricians’ firearms safety counseling practices





Recommend that families who have firearms unload and lock up guns




Identify families who have firearms in the home




Counsel families to ask about the presence of guns in homes where children play/spend time




Recommend that families who have firearms remove them from the home




Source: AAP Periodic Survey of Fellows #86, 2013-2014

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