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Every parent needs to ask this question: Is there an unlocked gun where my child plays?

Published: Jun. 21, 2021 at 4:27 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 5:53 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Every day, 22 children and teens are shot in the United States, according to Bradyunited.org.

Accidental shootings happen over and over again across the country and in Louisville.

Monday is National Ask Day. ASK stands for “Asking Saves Kids.”

Parents may not think twice to talk or ask about food allergies or dangerous pets, but asking if there is a gun in a home, and whether it is properly locked up are two things adults should be asking everywhere their children go.

According to Norton Children’s Hospital, reports of child accidental shootings in Louisville are rising. In 2019 there were 26. In 2020 there were 60. So far this year, there have already been 32. Norton leaders say the spike in cases may have something to do with the pandemic, and kids being home more, or they’re around unsecured guns in other places. Children are naturally curious and many times adults underestimate how little it takes to fire a gun.

“Sometimes (with) little kids, their thumbs are stronger, and sometimes they will turn the gun on themselves and pull the trigger with their thumb,” said Dr. Birt Anderson, from Norton Children’s Hospital.

Anderson said parents and caregivers should feel comfortable talking to family members, friends, even their children’s friend’s parents about gun safety.

”Just ask that one simple question, ‘Hey, I really want to make sure the kids are safe; do you happen to have any firearms in the home, and if you do, can you make sure they are locked up and out of reach?’” Anderson said. “I hear this is a problem. Parents shouldn’t assume if they don’t have guns, others don’t.

”I have never thought about asking that question,” mother Kate Griffiths said. “That’s a good idea, to prevent that. Sometimes I worry would that offend someone if I ask them that, but if I offend someone accidentally, it’s worth it to protect someone and look out for them.”

National Ask Day is a good reminder to look around your own home. If you have a gun, make sure it’s locked up in a place where a child can’t access it.

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