Prevent Child Abuse Indiana
It is estimated that one-third of homes with children have a firearm in the household.
It is our responsibility to ensure a child’s safety if there is a gun in a home where a child resides.
Talk to Your Kids and Their Caregivers
- Explain how a gun your kids might see on television or a video game is different from a gun in real life.
- It is imperative to teach your children the difference between a toy gun and a real one. Regardless, children should be taught to not point even a toy at anyone.
- It is good to teach kids to not touch a gun, but never assume that just because you told a child to never touch a gun, that it is then okay to leave one within reach. Children are too curious, and very young children will not remember that command. Some children as young as 3 have the strength to squeeze a trigger.
- Talk to grandparents, babysitters, and the parents of friends your children visit about safe gun storage practices.
- Teach your child that if they find a gun, to immediately tell an adult.
Dispose of Guns You Don’t Need
- If you decide that you no longer need to have a gun in your home, dispose of it in a safe way. Every state has different laws, so consult with law enforcement in your community on how to do so.
Store Guns and Ammunition Safely
- Keep guns in a locked space, unloaded, and out of the reach and sight of children.
- Keep ammunition in a separate locked area, out of the reach and sight of children.
- Keep any keys and/or combinations hidden.
- When a gun is not in its lock box, always keep it in your line of sight, and do not allow a child to touch it.
- Make sure all guns are equipped with effective, child-resistant gun locks.
- If a visitor brings a gun into your home, or is keeping it in an unlocked car, provide them with a locked place to store it while they are visiting you.
- Insure chamber is empty before attempting to clean the gun.
- Leaving guns on a nightstand, table or other place where a child can gain access may lead to injuries and fatalities.
- Even older children and teens need to be kept separated from firearms while they not under the close supervision of an adult. Sometimes a youth believes he or she has expertise in handling a weapon when in fact they do not.
- Suicide attempts are not always elaborately planned out by youth. They may make the decision in a very short period of time, and having immediate access to a firearm may be seen by that child as very opportunistic.
Another great Gun Safety resource is Be Smart (besmartforkids.org)
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Prevent Child Abuse Indiana is a vital resource to our community and is working diligently to protect and serve the children of our state. Amid the COVID-19 virus, this work is more important now than ever before. This vulnerable time is causing families to become unemployed, leading to lack of resources for food and shelter. We know that vulnerable conditions such as these can lead to increased cases of child abuse, which is why we need your help.
It is possible that small, discreet actions can make a difference in a child’s life. Please join us at this virtual event to see how you can make a difference during Child Abuse Prevention month.
“April is a time to help people across the country understand the safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments are necessary to ensure that children grow up happy and healthy,” says Sandy Runkle, Director of Programs for Prevent Child Abuse Indiana.
Our mission is simple: To be the voice in Indiana for preventing child abuse in all its forms. We practice this mission by raising awareness, serving as a resource for the community, advocating for preventive policies and programs, and fostering a statewide network committed to child abuse prevention. Together with the support of our dedicated volunteers, we’re working to stop child abuse before it begins.
We do not take abuse or neglect reports.
Please contact the
Indiana Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at
to report suspected child abuse or neglect.
Please do not contact PCAIN regarding concerns or complaints pertaining to DCS. Indiana has a Bureau of the Ombudsman, and they have “…the authority to receive, investigate and attempt to resolve complaints concerning the actions of the Department of Child Services (DCS) and to make recommendations to improve the child welfare system. The Bureau operates independently of DCS and is housed in the Department of Administration.” Contact information is below.
DCS Ombudsman Information Line
877-682-0101 – Toll Free
317-232-3154 – Fax