Every day, children are injured or killed by guns in this country. As a public health epidemic, gun violence is preventable using clinical and public health approaches that combine sensible policy, improved surveillance, research to identify best practices, and evidence-informed cross-sectoral primary prevention and intervention efforts.  

Coming Soon: Firearm Injury Prevention Special Interest Group

The Firearm Injury Prevention Special Interest Group (SIG) will provide a forum for pediatricians and other health care professionals focusing on firearm injury and violence prevention to share successes and strategies, promote educational programs, engage in advocacy efforts, and foster connections among members to address problems specific to local or regional care of children, adolescents, and young adults.

To receive future communications and access content related to the Firearm Injury Prevention SIG please complete the following registration form.


Gun Safety and Injury Prevention Overview

For over 30 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics has developed and published position statements with recommended public policy and clinical approaches to reduce the incidence of firearm injuries in children and adolescents and to reduce the effects of gun violence. These serve as the foundation for AAP advocacy efforts at the federal level, and as guideposts for AAP chapters across the United States in their local and state policy and programmatic initiatives. In addition, the AAP has developed clinician and parent education resources and implementation programs to not only support violence prevention but also to promote resilience in children and adolescents. 

AAP Recommendations

Facts and Statistics

Quick Facts

By the time they complete residency training, most pediatricians have direct experience treating gun injuries.

  • 69% of 2018 graduates reported treating a gun injury in training.
  • 41% treated five or more children with gun injuries and 18% treated 10 or more injuries.
  • 90% agree that pediatricians should ask about the presence of guns in the home.
  • 96% agree pediatricians should ask parents to unload/lock guns.

According to the 2019 AAP Periodic Survey:

  • 14% of AAP members in direct patient care reported they had treated or consulted on a gun injury in the past year.
  • 92% of AAP members identified violence prevention as a priority for pediatricians.
  • 95% of AAP members said that pediatricians should ask parents with firearms to unload and lock them away.
  • 78% of AAP members said they believe that anticipatory guidance about gun injury prevention can help to reduce gun injury.

WISQARS Data Trends

The AAP research team has complided powerpoint slides to reflect the most current youth suicide and firearm fatality data.

Suicide Trends Firearm Fatality Trends


Professional Tools & Resources

Safer: Storing Firearms Prevents Harm Video Series
A video series designed to support health professionals help families take steps towards safer storage.
Safer: Storing Firearms Prevents Harm Course
The following course developed in partnership with Vanderbilt University Medical Center is designed to support healthcare providers on how to effectively counsel their patient families about firearm safe storage in the home.
CALM for Pediatric Providers: Counseling on Access to Lethal Means to Prevent Youth Suicide Course
Firearm suicide has had a devastating impact on American youth. But suicide, including firearm suicide, can be prevented. This course focuses on how to connect with gun-owning families so that conversations about safeguarding guns is comfortable, practical, and leads to safer outcomes for youth.
Promoting Firearm Injury Prevention & Patient Safety in the Emergency Department
The Emergency Department provides care for patients with known preventable injuries such as those caused by a firearm. To address this widespread phenomenon, the Emergency Nurses Association in partnership with American Academy of Pediatrics developed a package of educational offerings focused on strategies to improve safety in this patient population.
AAP Gun Safety Campaign & Toolkit
The AAP has assembled a collection or tools and resources that can help promote safe storage practices.

Families and Communities

Guns in the Home
Nearly 2 million children live in homes with unlocked, loaded guns. This article can be a helpful reminder to the families in your practice of how serious a risk of injury an unlocked gun can be to children.
Is There an Unlocked Gun Where Your Child Plays?
A gun found by a child can change lives forever in just a few moments. Use this article to remind families to ask if there is an unlocked gun in the home where their child is going to visit.
Gun Violence Prevention Advocacy Efforts
Join in AAP advocacy efforts to address gun violence as a public health issue and advance policies that keep children, families and communities safe.

Contact Us

If you have questions related to gun safety and injury prevention, please contact us.

Podcasts and Voices Blogs

Learn what others are saying. Listen to our podcasts and read our blog posts.

Reducing Harm from Firearms, Improving Training in Developmental Disabilities – Episode 139

In this episode Lois K. Lee, MD, MPH, FAAP, FACEP, lead author of the updated policy statement and technical report on firearm-related injuries and deaths in children and youth, offers guidance for pediatricians to help decrease access to firearms. Hosts David Hill, MD, FAAP, and Joanna Parga-Belinkie, MD, FAAP, also talk with Jen Smith, PsyD, BCBA-D, about her Pediatrics article on multidisciplinary training in the field of developmental disabilities.

Pediatrics on Call


December 13, 2022

Firearm Injuries during the Pandemic, Safe Storage Messaging - Episode 66

In this episode Joanna Cohen, MD, FAAP, shares research from the journal Pediatrics about increased firearm injuries involving the pediatric population during the pandemic. Hosts David Hill, MD, FAAP, and Joanna Parga-Belinkie, MD, FAAP, also talk to Shari Barkin, MD, MSHS, FAAP, about a new AAP training portal designed to help pediatricians counsel families about firearm safety.

Pediatrics on Call


June 15, 2021

Rethinking Active Shooter Drills in Schools - Episode 91

In this episode David J. Schonfeld, MD, FAAP, founder and director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, joins hosts David Hill, MD, FAAP, and Joanna Parga-Belinkie, MD, FAAP, for a discussion about the potential harm of high-intensity “live crisis” drills in schools.

Pediatrics on Call


November 16, 2021

Common Sense Ways Pediatricians Can help Reduce Firearm Injuries

Learn more about the efforts the AAP is making to keep guns out of the hands of young people and how pediatricians can support a gun sense movement in their communities.

Voices Blog


June 12, 2019

Keep Guns Out of the Hands of Children

Research shows that a handgun in a home is more likely to injure or kill a family member than to thwart an intruder. Read how this pediatrician recommends to her families to just not have a gun in the house.

Voices Blog


June 20, 2016

Why Should Pediatricians Ask about Guns in the Home

Pediatricians are at the front line to advocate for firearm injury prevention. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that pediatricians routinely discuss firearm safety with patients and families.

Voices Blog


June 12, 2017

Last Updated



American Academy of Pediatrics