Science and Tech


Study: 1-minute safety video changes kids' behavior around firearms

The study says those who watched the gun safety video were more likely to tell an adult when finding a firearm and less likely to touch the gun.
A gun used in an accidental shooting of a child
Posted at 12:19 PM, Jul 18, 2023

A one-minute gun safety video could help prevent accidental injuries and death. 

That's the conclusion of researchers who published the results of their study of children in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

More than 200 children, ages 8 to 12 years old, participated in the study, which was conducted in two parts. First, kids were assigned to either watch the gun safety video or a car safety video. A week later, they were brought to a laboratory at The Ohio State University. The children were then randomly assigned to watch a "violent" PG-rated movie. One of the movies featured guns, while the other did not. 

Following the movie, the kids were allowed to play with toys in another room, which contained two disabled handguns hidden in a drawer. A hidden camera monitored their actions. 

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The study said those who watched the gun safety video at home the week before were more likely than those who watched the car safety video to tell an adult about the firearms and less likely to touch the guns. 

Furthermore, researchers found an association with boys who watched age-inappropriate movies and unsafe behaviors when a firearm was present. 

"To encourage safe firearm behavior, children should be educated about gun safety and should not watch age-inappropriate media," researchers stated. 

There have been at least 217 unintentional shootings by children in 2023, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit that advocates for stricter gun control laws. The organization says the shootings have resulted in 76 deaths and 149 injuries. 

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