National ‘ASK’ Day provides opportunity to ask questions on gun safety
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - National Asking Saves Kids (ASK) Day is recognized on June 21 and this year, parents are encouraged to ask their families questions about gun safety.
Multiple times there have been cases of children getting a hold of guns and accidentally shooting themselves, another child, or being hit by random stray bullets.
”I’m here to tell you it’s the worst thing in the world,” Dr. Brit Anderson with Norton Children’s Hospital said.
Anderson is an emergency room physician at Norton. She said accidental shootings in the local area that involve children are happening more.
According to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, most of the victims of unintentional shootings are boys. They are usually shot by a friend or relative, especially a brother.
Nearly 40% of all unintentional shooting deaths among children 11-14 years of age occur in the home of a friend, the hospital said.
Some parents believe that hiding their guns will prevent children from accessing them. However, 75% of children who live in homes with guns know exactly where they are stored.
WAVE News asked Anderson if it was enough for parents to tell children to not touch a gun if they see one.
“No, it’s not,” Anderson said. “Talking to kids about safety is really important, there is some evidence that kids are curious.”
Parents are encouraged to talk to family and friends that are gun owners and ask to make sure all guns are locked away.
“I think it’s one of those things that the more we do it, the more it will be easier,” Anderson said. “You can always blame your pediatrician if you feel a little awkward just say ‘hey, they were telling me to ask this. Hey, let me just ask is there an unlocked gun in your home,’ or say how about you come on over to our house or play at a playground or throw out other options we are just talking about safety.”
On June 22, Norton Healthcare Engage will speak about guns, mental health and our children. Local medical experts will discuss what parents and caregivers can do to help protect their kids and educate them on mental health and gun safety.
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