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0047 Investigating the feasibility and acceptability of firearm safety counseling and distribution of safe storage devices in the pediatric emergency department
  1. S Chaudhary1,2,
  2. R Haber3,
  3. A Portugues4,
  4. K Donches5,
  5. W Faig5,
  6. M Cook5,
  7. A Weiss5,6,
  8. J Fein5,6,7
  1. 1Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, USA
  2. 2Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, USA
  3. 3Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Braselton, USA
  4. 4Drexel University, College of Medicine, Philadelphia, USA
  5. 5Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, USA
  6. 6Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
  7. 7Center for Injury Research and Prevention, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, USA


Statement of purpose To assess feasibility and caregiver acceptability of providing firearm safety education and free safe-storage devices in the ED.

Methods/Approach Prospective feasibility study of caregivers in a pediatric ED. Participants completed electronic surveys on firearm safe-storage knowledge and practices, and received video-based firearm-safety education. We offered those with firearm access free cable locks and device education. We contacted subjects two weeks post-ED visit to assess firearm safety practices, cable lock use, and acceptability of the intervention.

Results We enrolled 307 participants. 43 participants (14%) reported a firearm in the home at some point during the week. 16/43 (37%) of families with guns had never received safe-storage information prior to this ED visit. Among those with handguns, 17% reported not using a safety device and 17% reported storing the gun loaded. 47 (15%) of all participants received one or more cable locks from the study team. 240 (78%) subjects completed the 2-week follow-up survey. 182 (75%) participants had shared the firearm-safety information they received with others, 213 (89%) felt the ED was an appropriate place to discuss firearm safety, and two participants had removed a firearm from their home. Of the 163 participants who had the opportunity to ask about firearms in the homes where their children visit, 111 (68%) did ask, compared to only 61/163 (37%) at time of ED intervention, (p<0.01). Amongst those with guns, 31/43 (89%) reported using a safe storage device for their firearm.

Conclusions It is feasible to provide firearm-safety education and cable locks to caretakers in the ED. Caretakers considered these practices acceptable and appropriate. The education and device distribution led to a change in intended and actual practices of firearm safety.

Significance Providing firearm safety education in the ED can lead to improved firearm safety practices.

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