Objectives. To examine characteristics and experiences associated with gun ownership among parents of pediatric patients who attend urban pediatric clinics and to determine the receptivity of these parents to firearm injury prevention counseling.
Design. A focus group discussion was followed by a cross-sectional survey.
Setting. Four public pediatric clinics in a large metropolitan area were included.
Participants. A focus group discussion was held with parents and was used to develop the questionnaire, which was then distributed over a 6-week period to parents accompanying children to the clinic. The anonymous, self-administered questionnaire was completed by 510 parents or guardians, with an 88% response rate.
Results. Twenty percent of respondents reported that they had a firearm in the home. Twenty-seven percent of respondents had experienced having a family member shot. Eighty-two percent of all respondents indicated that they would find information about the safest way to store a gun helpful or very helpful. Of all respondents, 47% would follow and an additional 37% would think over a provider's advice not to keep guns in the home. Gun owners were less inclined to report that they would follow this advice (19%), but 55% of the gun owners would think over this advice. Only 6% of all respondents reported that they would ignore or be offended by such advice.
Conclusions. Children attending public urban pediatric clinics are exposed to guns in their homes, and their parents appear to be receptive to firearm injury prevention counseling from their child's health care providers.
- Received September 1, 1994.
- Accepted November 23, 1994.
- Copyright © 1995 by the American Academy of Pediatrics