Children’s Hospital New Orleans Launches Gun Safety Campaign

Guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens in Louisiana

Www.eye Frank Aymami Photography


Did you know that guns are the leading cause of death for American children and teens and that Louisiana has the highest rate in the nation of unintentional shootings by children?

It’s more important than ever for parents and caregivers to know how secure gun storage works.

Children’s Hospital New Orleans is teaming up with Be SMART to raise awareness that secure gun storage – storing guns locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition – can save children’s lives.

Responsible gun ownership protects children and reduces firearm deaths. Be SMART is a national program designed to help parents and adults normalize conversations about gun safety and take responsible actions to prevent child gun deaths and injuries. The program asks parents and caregivers, gun owners and non-gun owners alike, to ‘Be SMART’ and take a few simple steps:

Secure all guns in their home and vehicles

Model responsible behavior around guns

Ask about unsecured guns in other homes

Recognize the role of guns in suicide

Tell your peers to be SMART

Dr David Yu Dr Fabienne Gray Dr Kimberly Mukerjee Dr Patrick Ryan

“Like counseling on seat belt use or pool safety, counseling parents and community members on firearm ownership and secure storage practices is important and helps mitigate the risk of death and injury to children,” says Dr. Fabienne Gray, Children’s Hospital New Orleans Trauma Center pediatric general surgeon. “Join the conversation and help change the trajectory of this leading cause of death among our children. Together, we can create a safer tomorrow.”

Kids will be kids, so it’s always an adult’s responsibility to keep children safe. Always assume that curious or impulsive kids may find and touch an unsecured gun, even if they’ve been told not to. That’s why it is crucial for us to store guns securely if we have them – and encourage friends and neighbors to practice secure storage whenever children visit their homes.

Today, 4.6 million children across the United States live in homes with at least one gun that is loaded and unlocked. Each year in the US, 350 children gain access to a firearm and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else—sometimes fatally. And more than 700 children die by suicide with a gun each year.

“Over the past five years the number of patients that the Children’s Hospital Trauma Center has treated for gunshot wounds has more than doubled,” says Children’s Hospital New Orleans CEO, Lucio A. Fragoso. “As only one of three verified Level II Pediatric Trauma Centers in the state, we care for far too many of these children in the Emergency Department, Operating Rooms and Intensive Care Units.”

With 24-hour immediate coverage by general surgeons, as well as coverage by the specialties of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology and critical care, Children’s Hospital is outfitted with an expanded pediatric-only Emergency Department with two dedicated trauma bays with immediate access to state-of-the-art surgical facilities, including 12 new operating rooms.

“This remarkable achievement of being recognized as a Level II Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons is one more way Children’s Hospital New Orleans is standing in the gap for all children and families who rely on life-saving pediatric care,” said Fragoso.

Help keep children safer by ensuring that all guns in your home or vehicles are securely stored. Learn more about secure gun storage by visiting this link,


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200 Henry Clay Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118


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