Pregnant mother shot in face by her four-year-old son

Shehab Khan

A pregnant mother has been shot in the face by her 4-year-old son in the US state of Washington.

The child found a loaded unsecured gun under a mattress in the house after his father hid it there because he was afraid of a recent crime in the neighbourhood.

The mother, 27, and her partner, the boy's father, were in bed watching television when their child found the gun.

He then shot his mother unintentionally, King County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sergeant Ryan Abbott said.

"We don't ever want to see something like this,” he added.

The mother, who is eight-months pregnant, has been taken to Harborview Medical Center with life-threatening injuries, the King County Sheriff's Office said.

Her condition has improved and she has been transferred to another hospital, according to the Washington Post.

Under a new state law gun owners could face criminal charges for not safely storing a gun.

Detectives will be looking into the case on 4 February to see if any charges should be filed, according to KOMO-TV.

It is unclear who the gun is registered to.

Additional reporting by agencies