Gun injuries cause twice as many deaths as cancer, five times as many as heart disease, and 15 times as many as infections. McInerny's group, which represents 60,000 U.S. pediatricians, has recommended asking patients about guns for decades in its clinical guidelines. In January, the group endorsed US Senator Diane Feinstein's proposed assault weapons ban.
And, Dr. McInerny said, the AAP encourages pediatricians to ask the children they care for whether guns are in their homes.
The Academy’s 2012 policy statement, “Preventing Firearm-Related Injuries in the Pediatric Population,” indicates that the presence of guns increases children’s and adolescents’ risk of injury and death. The policy recommends specific measures to reduce the destructive effects of guns in the lives of children and adolescents, including a strong, effective assault weapons ban, mandatory background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines.
"If there's a gun in the house, a family member is three times more likely to die from a gunshot wound [than] an intruder," he added. "We advise parents about car safety seats, about bicycle helmets, and about guns. It's just part of our prevention frame of mind."
In the doctor's comments to The Hill, there was no mention as to whether pediatricians are encouraged to ask children whether their family has a car or SUV. Figures published by the Department for Transportation show that in 2010, every week 48 children the age of 16 were killed or seriously injured on the roads, a figure comparable to the number of deaths resulting from firearms.Read more HERE.