Parents Urged to Ask Playdates If There Is a Gun in the Home

The ASK Day Campaign urges gun safety with locked, unloaded guns.
The ASK Day Campaign urges gun safety with locked, unloaded guns.

HealthDay News — The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is urging parents to ask a simple question before sending their children over to play at someone's house: "Is there an unlocked gun in your house?"

The ASK Day Campaign, led by the AAP and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, is held every year on the first day of summer as a way to prevent gun injuries, which are 1 of the top 3 causes of death among children and teens. 

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The ASK Day campaign urges parents to ask if there is a gun in the home their child will be going to, and if there is, to ask how the gun is stored. To ensure gun safety, it should be stored in a locked location and unloaded with the ammunition locked up separately. If a parent is not comfortable with the answers, they can invite the other child to play at their house instead.

"Young children are naturally curious and are often unable to remember or follow safety rules. Adolescents can be impulsive," Colleen Kraft, MD, president of the AAP, said in a statement. "When these characteristics are combined with access to firearms, the consequences can be tragic and permanent. Asking this simple question -- is there an unsecured gun in your home -- is an important step every parent can take to help their kids stay safe."

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