June 21st marks not only the official first day of summer, but it’s national ASK (Asking Saves Kids) day as well! With summer break in full swing, kids are spending more time in the homes of friends, neighbors, and relatives. The ASK campaign’s goal is simple: to keep kids safe and ASK “is there an unlocked gun where my child plays?”
Approximately 34% of homes with children in the U.S. have at least one firearm and roughly 4.6 million of these children live in homes with a gun that is unlocked and loaded. Hiding guns is not enough. Talking to kids is not enough. Kids are curious and when they find guns they are likely to play with them. What has been found effective is to put the onus on parents, and to discuss the issue of guns before a child is inadvertently able to discover one.
The conversation can be awkward at first, but our aim is to make it less awkward by having the conversation more often. If your child has a nut allergy, you’re certain to discuss the danger with others around whom your child spends time. If you child will be swimming at a friend’s house, you will certainly be discussing pool safety rules and making sure there is adult supervision at all times. With firearms killing more kids each year than both nut allergies and drowning combined, it’s crucial that parents begin having this conversation as well.
For more information on how to keep your kids safe, please visit www.ASKINGSAVESKIDS.org.