Did you know that the first day of summer, June 21, not only kicks off sun, fun and relaxation, but it is also National ASK Day.
The summer months are typically the time of year when children play more often in homes of their friends, or even other family members. While we parents ASK all sorts of questions to ensure our childs safety, parents need to ASK if there are guns where their kids are playing?
National ASK Day, is a collaboration between The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the Center to Prevent Youth Violence (CPYV). Statistics show that about 1/3 of homes with kids also have guns, many of which are left unlocked and may even be loaded!
An average of 8 kids and teens are killed by firearms everyday and 42 additional children/teens are seriously injured (according to CDC data). 88% of the children who are injured or killed in unintentional shootings are shot in their own homes or in the homes of relatives or friends.
Other studies show that 42% of parents who own guns keep at least one unlocked, and 25% keep at least one loaded, and UNBELIEVABLY 14% keep one unlocked AND loaded! I cannot believe this myself. Scary!
Children are curious and clever. They may see their parent with a gun and it is left out and suddenly a tragedy has occurred. Accidental? Hard to use that word when this accident may be prevented. Talking to a child about gun safety and the danger of firearms is great, but not enough. Curiosity and availability may win when a child wants to play with the gun. Kids are clever and may find a gun that parents thought were well hidden.
We ask friends if their pool is fenced, do they put sunscreen on before taking the kids to the pool, do they make sure the kids are not watching inappropriate movies, do they chaperone the party, do they make everyone wear seat belts??.......the list is endless. Add the question, do you have a gun in your house? This may indeed prevent terrible tragedies.