Eddie Eagle

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What is the Eddie Eagle Program?

The Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program is a comprehensive curriculum for parents, teachers and law enforcement personnel to teach pre-kindergarten through 3rd-grade schoolchildren to avoid gun accidents through a simple, memorable four-part plan of action if they encounter a firearm.  Using instructional materials including workbooks, an animated video and poster, Eddie Eagle teaches children that if they find a gun in an unsupervised situation, they should: STOP!  Don't Touch.  Leave the Area. Tell an Adult.

Does Eddie Eagle promote firearm ownership or use?

No.  The Eddie Eagle Program neither offers nor asks for any value judgment concerning firearms.   Like swimming pools, electrical outlets, matchbooks and household poisons, they're treated simply as a fact of everyday life.  With firearms found in about half of all American households, it's a stance that makes sense.  Just as Smokey Bear teaches children not to play with matches, Eddie Eagle teaches them that firearms are not toys, and should not be touched without adult supervision.

How was the program developed, and has it been shown to be effective?

The program was developed in 1988 with the guidance of educators, school administrators, curriculum specialists, urban housing safety officials, clinical psychologists, law enforcement officials and National Rifle Association firearm safety experts.  Since then, it has reached more than 25 million children in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.  Statistics suggest the program is effective.  In just one year, from 1991 to 1992 - while Eddie Eagle reached out to nearly a million youngsters - according to the National Safety Council, the rate of accidental firearm fatalities among children age 14 and under fell by 13%.

What will my child be taught?

Federal officials estimate there are over 200 million firearms in the United States.  Studies suggest they're kept in approximately half of all households.

Whether or not a particular family owns firearms, chances are, neighbors and relatives do, making it likely that children will encounter a firearm at some point.  From their earliest awareness, children are exposed to guns through cartoons, television shows and movies.  They're curious about firearms, and may have developed inaccurate perceptions of what a firearm is and does.

Just as Smokey Bear teaches children not to play with matchbooks, Eddie Eagle teaches them not to play with firearms with a simple, memorable four-part plan:

If you see a gun, Stop, Don't Touch, 
Leave the Area, Tell an Adult.

It is important for children to understand that only with a parent or with parental permission and adult supervision should a child be around firearms.

eddie_prog_broc.gif 123 x 299 Some children at the upper levels of the Eddie Eagle Program (grades 4 through 6) may own BB and pellet guns.  This age group needs to know that guns are not toys and that showing off with guns is not "cool."  These guns are not toys and when handling them, children who have received parental approval should treat them accordingly.

Parents play a key role in developing safe practices and are ultimately responsible for the behavior and safety of their children.  Because isolated lessons and concepts can be quickly forgotten, repetition will help students remember standard safety procedures.

 

The NRA's Eddie Eagle Gun Safety Program includes an instructor guide, activity books, poster, and an animated video to explain its four-step safety message.  For more information about the program or to obtain the materials, visit the Eddie Eagle web site at http://www.nrahq.org/safety/eddie/, send an email to eddie@nrahq.org, or call (800) 231-0752.