Pediatrician - Wall
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Wall, NJ 07719
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By contactus@steppingstonepediatrics.com
December 18, 2013
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A message from American Academy of Pediatrics President:

It is difficult to believe that a year has passed since the terrible shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut last December 14. As with any national tragedy, all of us remember where we were at the moment we learned of this nightmare.  Even now the shock and pain remain present and we continue to keep the families and pediatricians in Connecticut in our thoughts.

In the immediate aftermath of the event, the AAP responded to express our grief and urge that children be protected from images of the tragedy. We talked about resilience, but the truth is that no one—especially a child—should need to recover from something like this. So we, along with so many others across the nation, called for a united effort to prevent such an awful thing from happening in the future.

Unfortunately, children and adolescents still are being killed with guns as often as ever in this country…about 7 every day. But the tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook School woke up the nation and invigorated us to continue to address that issue even more strongly.

The AAP is observing the upcoming anniversary by renewing our call to pediatricians, parents, policymakers and all who care for children to keep working to protect them from gun violence. We also highlight examples of progress made in the last year, particularly in six states where legislation has advanced to protect children against injury from firearms.

Several AAP members are featured in a new video that the AAP has created on this topic. 

Additional video clips are available on the AAP's YouTube channel, and some great resources for educating communities are available through the new campaign from our Section on Medical Students, Residents and Fellowship Trainees. The AAP will be sharing messages on Twitter and Facebook about keeping children safe, and I hope that you will help us to spread the word by sharing links to these pieces via social media, and other channels.In addition, we are renewing our call to national leaders in Congress to put children’s safety first in legislation and appropriations related to gun violence and injury prevention.

As I expressed to the White House Task Force on Gun Violence Prevention shortly after the Newtown tragedy, gun safety is a public health issue that profoundly impacts children and adolescents. As pediatricians, we are uniquely suited to help raise awareness about gun violence in the lives of children. I encourage each of you to use this occasion as a time to reflect and commit to doing one thing in the coming year—whether large or small—to help advocate  for stronger gun laws and access to mental health services, or to educate your community about the importance of asking about guns in homes where children live and play.

Last December 14, I stated the simple truth on behalf of all pediatricians: Children deserve to feel safe wherever they live, play, and learn. This should not be too much to ask.

So I ask you to engage with your communities…engage with families…and engage with policymakers to help create a brighter picture in the coming months and years.  We know this work will not be easy, and success will take time. But by working together and joining with like-minded advocates, we can make children safer from gun violence.   

Thank you for your dedication and work on behalf of children.

Best regards

-Thomas K. McInerny, MD, FAAP

AAP President

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3350 Highway 138 Building 2 Suite 126,
Wall, NJ 07719