MD Mama

A Question That Could Save Your Child's Life

ASK-Web-Banner-3.jpgDid you know that one in three homes with children has a gun, many of them stored unlocked and unloaded? In fact, 1.7 million US children live in a house with an unlocked, loaded gun.

And did you know that 80 percent of unintentional firearm deaths of children under 15 happen in a home?

That's why a simple question could save your child's life: Is there an unlocked gun where my child plays?

This isn't about anyone's right to own a gun. It's about simple safety.

If you take your child to play at a house on a busy street, you are going to make sure they plan to play in the back yard, not the front yard. If you go to a house with a nippy dog, you are going to ask where the dog will be while they play. If there's a backyard pool, you'll have some questions about supervision and gates. If your child has a peanut allergy, you are going to ask about the snack plan. Asking about guns is really the same thing.

When you take your child somewhere, just ask, "Do you have a gun?"

If the answer is yes, ask how it's stored. To keep children (and everyone) safe, guns should be locked up, unloaded, with the ammunition stored and locked separately. If that's not how they store their gun, ask if they could do it while your child is there.

If they say no, don't leave your child there. Offer to have everyone play at your house instead, or suggest a trip for ice cream or to the park.

Yes, it might be awkward. But better an awkward moment than a dead child.

June 21 is ASK day. Try it out, Spread the word.

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