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Reflections on the FACTs symposium.

December 2nd, 2019 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized

Reflections on the FACTS Symposium, Monday, October 21, 2019

Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens- FACTs. The consortium and website. https://depts.washington.edu/hiprc/child-and-teen-firearm-safety-research-consortium-fund  www.childfirearmsafety.com https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov › pubmed  

 (Dr. Rebeccah Cunningham’s UM team received a large grant from NIH to study Gun Violence and this symposium was an outgrowth.)

1.Most current data indicates 109 Americans die from guns every day

2.The differences between urban and rural attitudes and practices are real. A community advisory panel in rural areas felt defensive reading the message on the UM Injury Center’s handout for parents that “The Safest Home with children is a home with NO guns” as per the AAP (pediatrics.) What do we do about that- conversation starter?

3. The most successful way to ask about guns in the home may be to ASSUME THERE ARE GUNS and ASK ABOUT STORAGE e.g. “Are the guns in your home all stored safely?”

4. Dr. Joseph Eradi, an expert in school safety who was a consultant to Sandy Hook school after their tragedy has been touting the approach to recognize bullying, loneliness, weird behavior changes among students before lives are lost. He encourages kids to “SAY HELLO” i.e. practice inclusiveness, don’t let kids sit alone in the corner of the cafeteria, etc. and “SAY SOMETHING” if they see something worrisome. He is not a proponent of arming teachers. This program is the Sandy Hook Promise. https://www.sandyhookpromise.org

5. Declaring gun violence a public health crisis in America Dr. Patrick Carter pointed out there are 130 suicides/day and 130 opioid deaths /day currently in US. Both are crises, but only the opioid has been declared!

6. Youth and adults typically do not visit a mental health professional prior to suicide but many DO visit their primary care provider. Doctors should screen for depression—converse with patient appropriately—provide gun locks or help get gun/s removed from access. This could be facilitated by ERPO’s.

7. Youth who are vulnerable to violence seem to respond to a pilot program using a phone app which sends alerts and words of encouragement during the day, GPS monitors if kids are in “bad situations”, students receive rewards as incentive e.g. five consecutive days without carrying your gun.

8. Data indicate the predictable: in states where gun laws are more permissive school shootings are more prevalent

9. There appears to be some progress towards increasing federal funding for research related to gun violence

James Peggs, MD

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