We think we can speak for every parent when we say that now is a very scary time to be raising a child. The United States has seen an estimated 188 school shootings since the year 2000, wherein more than 400 students have either been killed or injured.

It’s a startling number, especially in light of America’s most recent tragedy that occurred just last month, when a 19-year-old gunman opened fire on a Parkland, Florida high school, killing and injuring 34 students and teachers. Unfortunately, it’s not an uncommon headline to see in this country, and people are doing their best to make changes in any way they know how.

Now, we aren’t going to get political here—clearly, there’s already an overwhelming amount of chatter on that end—but what we are going to share with you today is a tip. If you just stick THIS everyday object into your child’s backpack, you could end up saving lives in an event of a school shooting.

You see, right after the Parkland shooting, a woman by the name of Katie Cornelis posted a photo of an ordinary rubber doorstop to her Facebook page, along with this advice:

After the Sandy Hook shooting, I gave both my nieces this little doorstop to always keep in their backpacks. It truly pained me when I handed it to them, and I didn’t want to scare them, but it was out of love and they understood.

When we first caught wind of the Connecticut aunt’s advice, we were a bit confused as to how a small item like a doorstop could keep a classroom of children stay safe, but when we heard her rationale, packing along the household object suddenly made a whole lot of sense…

If a gunman shoots out the door lock it will still keep the door from opening and may just buy you some time. I’m really sad posting this but a security expert shared this tip with me so I wanted to pass it on. I pray no one ever has to use it.

We did our homework to check the efficacy of the doorstop in regards to “buying students more time,” as Cornelis puts it. Interestingly, doorstops seem to be dupes for expensive security systems that are currently being marketed to schools.

Back in 2016, The Huffington Post published an article on safety devices that could save lives in the event of a school shooting. One of the items, The Sleeve, is, essentially, a high-tech version of the doorstop. It secures a door from the inside, which can effectively seal it shut, thus cutting off contact from anyone who may attempt to break into the room. Sound familiar?

Cornelis’ thoughts on her now-viral safety post

Amazingly, the aunt’s advice has been shared over a million and a half times on Facebook, with the story being picked up by media outlets around the world.

Although Cornelis says that she is “blown away” by the number of people her post has attracted, she writes that she merely wants to “help keep children safe” and feels that “any help we can extend to one another is a beautiful thing.”

We have to agree with Cornelis on this one. Although the idea of our children having to resort to using doorstops as protection is upsetting, to say the least, it’s important that we give our little ones useful resources. Let’s keep our kids safe!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this potentially life-saving, everyday object. Have you packed doorstops into your children’s backpacks? Do you know of any other devices like this? How do you talk to your kids about gun violence?