Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU encourages parents to ask questions about gun safety
Approximately one-third of homes with kids have guns — many left loaded and unlocked. June 21 is ASK Day, which stands for Asking Saves Kids. The day serves as a reminder to parents and caregivers about the importance of asking about guns in the homes their children visit.
Over the past several years, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU has seen an increase in the number of children coming into the hospital with gunshot wounds because guns were not stored properly. CHoR and VCU Police are teaming up today to share tips for helping caregivers feel more comfortable starting the conversation — and provide complimentary gun locks — at the Children’s Pavilion.
“Parents ask a lot of questions when kids stay with friends or family. Will an adult be home? Do they need a bike helmet or sunscreen for playing outside? The list goes on. Asking if there’s a gun in the home and, if so, making sure it’s safely stored takes only a matter of seconds and can save a life,” said Corri Miller-Hobbs, program coordinator for Safe Kids Virginia and a member of CHoR’s Level 1 pediatric trauma center. “It’s not about whether or not someone agrees with gun ownership. It’s simply about making sure our kids are safe.”
In addition to asking about guns in homes, Safe Kids Virginia offers the following gun safety tips:
- Keep guns out of the reach and out of sight of children by storing them securely. Leaving guns unsecured — on a nightstand, table or other places where a child can gain access — can lead to injuries and fatalities.
- Store guns unloaded and secured with effective, child-resistant locks.
- When a gun is not being stored, keep it in your immediate possession and control at all times.