Media-based Education for Parents on Firearm Safety

Period of Performance: 09/30/1995 - 03/31/1996


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Northwest Media, Inc.
Eugene, OR 97401
Principal Investigator


The objective of the proposed study is to produce and evaluate a series of interrelated, televised messages for parents to reduce firearm injuries and deaths related to the proliferation of guns in households where they are improperly stored. Firearms are the second leading cause of death and yet most parents do not discuss firearm safety with their children or ensure that their children have unsupervised access only to safe environments where all firearms are locked up and ammunition stored separately. The proposed strategy uses a public health approach to alert parents to the danger of firearm accidental injuries, homicides and suicides if their children and adolescents have access to improperly stored guns. The messages will model strategies to facilitate developmentally appropriate communication about firearm safety between parents and their children, to increase parental awareness of the need for better supervision of children and adolescents in households with firearms and to demonstrate proper storage of firearms in the home. In Phase I we will produce three pilot one-minute television spots which will be tested under simulated televised viewing conditions. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: Firearms now rank second only to motor vehicle accidents as the cause of death and disability. A Healthy People 2000 objective is "to reduce by 20 percent the proportion of people who possess weapons that are inappropriately store and therefore dangerously available." The proposed strategy represents a powerful way to disseminate information to parents about firearm safety that also appeals to commercial sponsorship from private enterprise.