Do you have a gun?BMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7564.373 (Published 17 August 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:373
- Justin Daniels, consultant in paediatrics ()
Parts of north London are sometimes dangerous and violent, but I was shocked when my US medical student asked a family if there was a gun in the household as part of his routine paediatric social history. He told me that in the United States this was a standard history taking question as children were much more likely to be shot if they lived in a house where a gun was located. If the family did have a gun he would go on to ask whether it was kept in an appropriate locked cupboard.
We do not think of the United Kingdom as having a gun culture, but in 2004-5 there were 22 798 firearms related offences in which 5358 people were injured and 78 killed. Perhaps we should make this question a standard part of UK paediatric history taking.