Each year, more than 500 children and teenagers are killed by firearms and more than 99,000 men, women and children are wounded. An estimated 1.2 million young children may have access to firearms in their homes. Nearly one out of two homes in the United States has a firearm. Before the age of 8, few children can distinguish a toy firearm from a real firearm. Practicing firearm safety and teaching it to children is very important. Firearm safety and children Take time to tell children about the dangers of playing with firearms. Stress the difference between firearm violence on television and real-life consequences. Teach them that firearms are not toys and even toy firearms should not be pointed at people. Practice the "all-firearms-are-loaded" philosophy. Always handle firearms as if they are loaded. Tell your children: "If you find a firearm, leave it alone and tell an adult." Repeat often: "Stay away from firearms." If you own a firearm, participate in a firearms safety program. Always read and follow instructions. Never store a firearm while it is loaded. Do not trust the safety. Store unloaded firearms in a locked cabinet or with a firearm lock in place. They should be out of sight and out of reach of children. Ammunition should be kept in a separate place - locked up. firearm and ammunition storage keys should be stored in a safe place. Alcohol or other mind altering drugs and firearms do not mix.