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Asking About Safe Storage Could Reduce Gun Violence in Delaware

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Nemours Children’s Health and other local healthcare systems join forces to create “It Doesn’t Kill to Ask,” a national gun safety public awareness and educational campaign.

Gun violence is an increasingly common threat in the United States. In Delaware, this issue is harrowingly pervasive and growing, especially among children. Instances in which children arrive at school or sporting events with firearms are on the rise. According to Nemours Children’s Health, guns are a leading cause of death among children and teens in Delaware, with an average of 12 children/teens dying by guns every year.

Many of these deaths occur as a result of improperly stored guns, which can lead to suicides, violence and death. Meghan Walls, director of external affairs at Nemours, notes that gun violence affects people of all ages, but especially children, long after the shots have been fired, physically, mentally and emotionally.

“All Delawareans believe in keeping our children safe–that is something we all share. The campaign is about finding the tools to do that around safe storage.”

That’s why Nemours, along with other leading local healthcare systems and hospitals (led by Northwell Health in New York), have partnered up to create the “It Doesn’t Kill to Ask” campaign. The campaign equips parents, caregivers and community members with information, providing “actionable tools to speak up about safe gun storage and help them feel empowered to ask other parents about access to guns in a home their child might visit.”

This campaign will take the form of a website, along with printed works, broadcasts and digital public service announcements. The website will provide people with concrete examples of conversation starters, tips and education about the issue of gun violence.

It Doesn't Kill to Ask locked guns campaign

The hope is that conversations around safe gun storage will become normalized, as routine as asking about food allergies. These extra safety measures will save lives, and the websites’ examples, as Walls points out, “really gives parents a jumping point. I think that’s why it’s a little bit different…It’s actually giving parents those tools, versus just saying ‘guns should be safely stored.’”

“All Delawareans believe in keeping our children safe–that is something we all share. The campaign is about finding the tools to do that around safe storage. Locally, with this recent uptick in things like guns making their ways into schools and events, we know that parents and community members have real concerns. This is just one way to address them. It’s important because it’s a piece of the pie of keeping our kids healthy and safe,” says Walls.

Learn more about the It Doesn’t Kill to Ask campaign and the hospitals involved, find resources and more at hospitalsunited.com.

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