The American Academy of Pediatrics firearm safety infographic improves firearm safety guidance: A qualitative study

Brittany L. Johnson, Patricia V. Chen, Kristen L. Beckworth, Annalyn S. DeMello, Matthew W. Webb, David E. Wesson, Bindi J. Naik-Mathuria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Approximately 800 children annually suffer unintentional firearm injuries and deaths from unsecured firearms in the United States. These injuries are preventable, and may be avoided by providing parents with firearm safety guidance (FSG). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the experience of pediatric providers in delivering FSG following incorporation of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) infographic. Methods: Qualitative study completed July 2019-December 2019. Community pediatricians in Houston, Texas were provided the AAP firearm safety infographic and encouraged to provide FSG routinely during well-child visits with firearm-owning parents. Efficacy, feasibility of use and barriers to FSG were assessed via focus groups. Content analysis was utilized to identify emergent themes from provider experiences. Results: Forty-four pediatricians across eight clinics delivered FSG using the AAP infographic. Of these, thirty-four participated in focus groups discussing their experience. Only 34% of those in the focus groups had routinely provided FSG prior to the study. The AAP infographic was a useful tool because of its visibility, valuable information, and assistance with broaching the topic of firearm safety with parents. Three themes were identified from qualitative analysis: methods of successful delivery of FSG (62%), patient responses to FSG (25%), and barriers to delivery of FSG (13%). Parents were generally receptive to the guidance. Conclusions: The AAP firearm safety infographic, which is free and publicly available, can be a valuable and satisfactory tool for delivery of firearm safety guidance by pediatric providers, including surgeons. Further study is needed to assess whether the guidance changes parental storage behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1630-1636
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Firearm Injury
  • Guidance
  • Pediatrics
  • Safe firearm storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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