Caring for Motherhood: Safety
A ReadNPlay Production
Violence Prevention and Safe Gun Storage and Handling
In the United States…
- There are over 400 unintentional gun deaths that occur each year, mostly among children.
- Suicides account for most gun deaths.
- Having access to guns triples the risk of death by suicide.
- Homicide is the 2nd leading cause of injury-related deaths among pregnant and postpartum women.
- Access to firearms increases risk of intimate partner homicide by more than five times compared to no weapon access.
- Seek help if you are a domestic violence victim.
- If you are having thoughts of suicide, seek help from a professional or person that you trust, or call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.
- If you have guns in the home:
- Store guns out of reach of children.
- Store guns unloaded in a locked container or safe.
- Store ammunition locked in a separate location.
- Use a gun lock.
- Ask about unsecured guns when spending time in other homes.
Driving and riding safely when pregnant
Doctors recommend always wearing a seatbelt, including when pregnant. Pregnant women should also leave airbags on. Wearing your seatbelt correctly can help protect both you and your baby from injury. If you’re in a car accident, get medical treatment quickly to make sure you and your baby are okay.
- Always wear both the lap belt and the shoulder strap. Make sure they both fit you snugly.
- Never text while driving and avoid talking on the phone, eating, and other distracting activities.
- When pregnant:
- The lap belt should be secured below your belly.
- The shoulder belt should lie over your chest. Never place the shoulder strap under your arm.
- Your seat should be adjusted so you can comfortably reach the steering wheel and pedals while placing as much distance as possible between you and your vehicle airbags.
- Never drive, or drive with someone, impaired by alcohol or drugs.
- Be SMART (Secure, Model, Ask, Recognize, Tell)
- A program to raise awareness that storing guns locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition can save lives.
- View information and videos under Resources.
- Ask your health care provider if you need help obtaining a gun lock.
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: nhtsa.gov
- Safe Kids: safekids.org