Norton Children's treated nearly 2 dozen young gunshot victims in 2017

From safe and proper storage to accident prevention, Norton Children's Hospital says it's up to the adults to prevent these sometimes-deadly accidents from happening. It may be an inconvenience to the gun owner but saving lives officials say is worth the

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Nineteen children have been brought to Norton Children's Hospital with gunshot wounds this year.

 

So far, three of them have died. 

 

LMPD is investigating after detectives say a three-year-old boy shot himself in the chest after getting a hold of a gun in the south end Sunday morning.

 

No charges have been filed, but with so many cases this year of kids and accidental shootings, we're talking to local experts to keep your family safe.

 

Officials at Norton Children's Hospital say the conversation isn't about politics or the second amendment it's about keeping children safe and alive. 

 

Sunday, December 3 was a chaotic morning for a Louisville family and LMPD officers.

 

Via surveillance video of a crash in Old Louisville, WHAS11 learned the father of a three-year-old was rushing to drive his son to the hospital after the child somehow got ahold of a gun and shot himself in the chest. That happened on Oleanda Avenue just off Taylor Boulevard.

 

"If you think that your children won't do what you do, they will do what you do and they can do it, even the youngest kids can pull the trigger of a gun," Erika Janes said.

 

Janes is the Prevention and Wellness Coordinator at Norton Children's Hospital.

 

"If you're going to let your child stay over someone else's house, have you thought about asking them...is your weapon up?" she said.

 

Janes says it's up to parents to lead the safety charge. She suggests a safe and a gun lock as the best solutions – adding that you have to make it hard for kids to even get ahold of a gun.

 

"It is an extra step if people are worried about a home invasion, someone getting in to get them, but we have to do it because our kids are the ones getting harmed," Janes said.

 

Experts estimate nationally that every one out of three homes with children has guns and we're told more than half of those kids in those homes, ages 5 to 14, know where those guns are located. 

 

From a toddler getting a hold of a gun in a car in the east end in November and shooting themselves in the head, to this most recent case in the Taylor-Berry neighborhood.

 

Norton Children's Hospital says 19 cases is 19 too many.

 

Not only is safety important but so is an open and honest conversation with your children.

 

Norton says many times kids see things on TV, movies or video games and don't recognize the deadly consequences of guns. Police says the toddler is expected to survive.  

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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