We live in a world where school shootings, gang violence, and violent protesting are in the news almost daily. It’s an awful feeling watching your kid walk out the door of your home and wondering in the back of your mind the whole time whether they will be safe. There is little we can do to protect our little ones from the outside world; however, some parents believe that allowing their kids to wear a bulletproof vest every time they go out maybe a good idea.
Bulletproof vests can give you and your kid a sense of safety and security when they are in the classroom or walking alone to different destinations. When in dangerous situations, a bulletproof vest can be an effective tool for protecting your child.
However, the choice of allowing children to wear a bulletproof vest is different for every family. Whether a bulletproof vest is right for you and your child will come down to various factors such as where you live and gun violence rates in the area.
Should Your Kids Wear Bulletproof Vests?
Did you know there were more mass shootings in 2019 than the number of days in the year (419 mass shootings to be exact)? Grocery stores, schools, local parks—it seems as if everywhere you look, the violence is real, and it’s scary.
With this scary statistic in mind, you may be tempted to have your child wear a bulletproof vest everywhere they go to ensure they’re safe. However, this doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea or ideal for your situation.
To determine whether your kid should wear a bulletproof vest, you’ll need to consider where you live, the school your child goes to, and gun violence rates in the area.
It is no surprise that there are more crime and violence in larger cities: more people crowded together is going to cause more conflict and opportunities for problems. If you live in larger cities like Memphis, Tennessee; St. Louis, Missouri; and Detroit, Michigan, you are more likely to be exposed to violence and dangerous situations compared to other areas in the United States with smaller populations.
Additionally, recent studies have revealed that higher numbers of gunshot injuries and deaths have been linked to poverty and low-income communities. It is believed that with low-income housing clustered so closely together, the problem will only grow. Generally speaking, if you live in a highly-populated area and/or low-income community, your child will, unfortunately, be more at risk of being exposed to gun violence. In these instances, a bulletproof vest can be a viable option, though if you have the means to move to another area, that is certainly encouraged as well.
The rise in school shootings in the United States is higher than it has ever been. Since 2010, there have been more than 400 school shootings in the US, compared to only over 70 in 2019. These statistics are not only alarming but are an indication that this is becoming more of a problem, and parents need to be prepared; taking precautions is just about the only thing we can do to keep our children safe when they head off to school.
With that said, bulletproof vest use has become more common as a general method of ensuring kids stay safe outside of the home, especially in school, where it seems their protection is not always guaranteed.
What Type of Bulletproof Vest is Best for Kids?
With bulletproof vests becoming a new norm for kids, various companies have started designing bulletproof gear for children as schools continue to work to enhance security measures and procedures in the event of a shooting. They are easily available to the public in many designs and colors, making them simple to wear without attracting unwanted attention.
Because there are so many options for bulletproof vests, it can be hard to determine which is best for your kid. However, generally speaking, try to look for the following features:
- Lightweight: Having a lightweight vest is not only a good option for children to wear all day long at school but is also useful to keep on hand and easy to put on in an emergency.
- Breathable: A thin material is a must-have for children; they are more apt to take something off if it makes them hot or uncomfortable.
- Durable: You want your kids to be as comfortable as possible but also 100% protective; a durable fabric such as Codura should be top on your list of things to look for.
- High-Quality: You want a resilient material that is lightweight and will last you a long time. These items can get pricey, so you want to make sure you will not need to replace them often (with or without incident).
- Check the Zipper: The zipper area can be a weak spot in some vests; look for the brands that add the bulletproof material behind the zippers.
Just as important as the features on the bulletproof vest is how it fits on your kid. Ensure it is the right size and design for their body type; if the vest does not fit correctly, your child will not get the best protection.
Other Bulletproof Items Available for Kids
There are various reasons why parents may not want to opt for a bulletproof vest and instead invest in other bulletproof items for kids. For one, although bulletproof vests for children are made in such a way to be light and more discreet so as not to draw attention, your kid may not feel comfortable wearing such an item, let alone wearing it at school.
Fortunately, there are other bulletproof items that will also protect your child:
- Bulletproof Panels: panels you can insert into a backpack or coat
- Bulletproof Safety Seat: a bulletproof seat you can sit on then use for protection if ever needed
- Bulletproof Tablet Case: a case that can be used as a shield
- Bulletproof Backpacks and Purses: used to store items and protect you if a situation occurs
- Bulletproof Notebook Folios: bulletproof slab that can be inserted into a notebook, offering protection within seconds
With the rise in gun crimes and the dangers our kids face today, we are lucky to have advances in technology that can help us prepare and stay ahead of the chaos. With products like these, you can send your little ones off to school without worrying about their safety (as much as a parent can anyway).
Gun violence is on the rise everywhere you look; statistics have shown the enormous increase in the last ten years alone. Whether it’s in the school or your backyard, we all need to be prepared.
So, knowing this, is it a good idea for your kids to wear a bulletproof vest the next time they go to school? Ultimately, it will come down to you; this is a crucial decision each parent will need to make individually.
Not everyone will have the same opinion on the matter, mainly due to their environment: for example, if you live in a low crime area, your need for a bulletproof vest will not be nearly as important as someone in a city with a lot of violence.
However, it will always be better to be safe than sorry. Gun violence can happen anywhere at any time; anyone can be affected. Having a bulletproof vest or even a backpack on hand could prove to be a lifesaving investment for any family. Let your little one feel safe anywhere they go knowing they can have protection from danger at any given moment.
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