Yes whether or not you have one in the chamber it is your decision. I take it your children are small as you say they are unable to rack the slide. I have not always been a gun guy but my father taught me of his guns and what they were ment for. I can remember when he would carry me on his shoulders when he would go back to his hunting spot. I would suggest introducing your children to guns and let them know what they are for. Children are curious, help take that away and you have just made it that much safer for them. Good luck and continue with what you preferr.