Is there a gun where your child plays? It’s a question we don’t always think to ask, but it could save our child’s life.June 21 is ASK Day – a day started by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Center to Prevent Youth Violence to encourage parents to ask other parents if there is a gun in their home before allowing their child to go over to play.About one in three homes with kids has a gun, which is not always safely secured. Talking to your child about gun safety is a good idea, but isn’t the only step you should take to protect your child. When your child goes to a friend’s house for the first time, do not be afraid to ask if there is a gun in the house. If not, there is no need to worry. If so, ask how the gun is stored and make sure the ammunition is locked and put away in a separate area. If you are not comfortable with the answers, suggest the children play at your house.Although these types of conversations may feel uncomfortable, not having them can have life-altering consequences. The Center to Prevent Youth Violence offers these tips:
- Ask it with other questions: Include the gun question along with other questions you might normally ask another parent, such as questions regarding animals or allergies.
- Use the facts: Mention that one in three homes with children has a gun, which is not always secured properly. You just want to make sure your child is safe.
- Work through groups: Introduce the ASK concept through a community group.
- Don’t be confrontational: Be respectful and make sure parents know that you are merely concerned about the safety of your child.
Learn more about ASK day, and don’t forget to ask the important questions!