Research Horizons


Pomerantz Co-Authors National Statement on Guns and Children

Dr. Wendy Pomeranz in yellow shirt standing in clinic reception area

Be it accidents, homicides or suicides, too many children are dying from gunshot wounds. However, reducing the death count is possible, according to a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published in November, 2012.

Wendy J. Pomerantz, MD, MS, Co-Director of our Comprehensive Children’s Injury Center, was part of the council that developed the statement, published in the journal Pediatrics.

Among the changes supported by the AAP:

  • The most effective measure to prevent suicide, homicide, and unintentional firearm-related injuries to children and adolescents is the absence of guns from homes and communities. Pediatricians should continue to advocate for the strongest possible legislative and regulatory approaches to prevent firearm injuries and deaths.
  • Pediatricians should counsel parents about the dangers of allowing children and adolescents to have access to guns inside and outside the home and urge parents who possess guns to prevent access to these guns by children.
  • The presence of guns in the home increases the risk of lethal suicidal acts among adolescents. Pediatricians should counsel the parents of all adolescents to remove guns from the home or restrict access to them.
  • Guns should be subject to consumer product regulations regarding child access, safety, and design.
  • Regulations should limit child access to firearms. Trigger locks, lock boxes, gun safes, and safe storage legislation are encouraged by the AAP.
  • The assault weapons ban on sales to the general public should be restored.
  • Other measures supported by the AAP include mandatory waiting periods, closure of the gun show loophole, mental health restrictions for gun purchases, and background checks.

—Posted by Tim Bonfield

Publication Information
Original title: Firearm-Related Injuries Affecting the Pediatric Population
Published in: Pediatrics
Publish date: November 2012
Read the Statement

Research By

Wendy Pomerantz, MD, MS
Co-Director, Comprehensive Children's Injury Center