Parents are more confident their preteen child would know what to do if there were a house fire or tornado than whether the child would avoid playing with guns if home alone, a new national poll says.
Four out of five parents of kids age 9 to 12 say they are very confident their child would appropriately handle an emergency like a storm (82 percent) or a fire (78 percent). Sixty-four percent of parents are confident their child would know when to call 911.
Fewer parents (53 percent) are very confident their tween would not play with guns when adults weren’t home, according to a new report from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.
“Many parents struggle deciding if their child is responsible enough to be left home alone, especially as their child moves into the tween years. This is an especially important decision during the summer when many parents have to make arrangements for kids who are out of school,” says Sarah J. Clark, MPH, director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.
“Our poll found that while parents are confident that their children would know what to do if faced with emergencies like a fire or storm, they expressed a great deal of hesitancy about gun safety. Nearly half are not confident their tween would not play with guns encountered at a home with no adult supervision.”
Mothers and fathers report the same level of confidence about their tweens’ likely safety practices, and have similar confidence levels for sons and daughters. This indicates that a broad spectrum of parents is aware of the potential for accidental gun injuries, the Mott poll report notes. And with 1 in 3 U.S. households having at least one gun, it is not unlikely that unsupervised tweens might encounter one at home or in a friend or relative’s home.