(Greene County, Mo.--01/17/18) Greene County Investigators say a 6-year-old boy accidentally shot his 7-year-old sister early Wednesday morning on the 2400 block of W. Alta.
Luckily, the young girl is expected to survive. FOX5 spoke with authorities about how parents can prevent similar incidents from happening.
What would your child do if you weren’t around and they found a gun? Greene County Sheriff's Department says that’s a question parents should be asking themselves after a 7 year old child was accidentally shot in the chest by her 6 year old brother.
"Somebody somehow either dropped or lost a gun in the house during that time. The children found it and were playing with it and the gun accidentally went off," explains James Craigmyle, Public Relations Coordinator, Greene County's Sheriff Department.
Craigmyle says the 7-year-old's injuries don't appear to be life threatening.
"We’re extremely grateful. This could’ve ended tragically, but thankful the child wasn’t a good shot and didn’t hit any vital organs."
Authorities say no preventative measure will ever be fully effective if you don’t consistently talk to children about the dangers involving firearms.
"If you can educate them, let them know what a gun does, let them know the intricates of how a gun works and teach them proper safety with a gun they are less likely to grab one and have an accidental shooting like last night."
He insists the key is communication and killing your child’s curiosity before it kills your child.
"It is critical, it’s life or death. If you don’t take the steps to protect your children, or to take away the curiosity of your children they’re going to get a hold of a gun."
Law enforcement says the simplest option is to buy a gun lock which you can get at the sheriffs department free of charge or store guns in a safe, with the ammunition separate from the firearm.
"At least don’t put one round in the chamber, leave it out of the chamber that way if a kid does grab it and they do pull the trigger there’s no bullet to come out."
Craigmyle says its unclear whether the children's parents will face any charges.