For most children, June 21st marks the start of a summer vacation filled with fun and sun, a summer full of sleepovers, visits to best friends, and time spent in new places. The Center to Prevent Youth Violence (CPYV) has chosen the first day of summer "National ASK Day" to remind us that danger still lurks when children play in places unfamiliar to their parents. As parents, guardians, big sisters, big brothers, relatives, and caretakers, we must never forget to ask one of the most critical questions when allowing our children the freedom to enter the homes of others: is there a gun where my child plays?
In Florida, over 248,000 children and teens live in homes with loaded guns and 129,000 of Florida's youths live in homes with loaded guns that are accessible and unlocked. This is not only a child safety issue, but also demonstrates the need for better gun control laws in our state.
As we take the time this summer to observe National ASK Day, I encourage everyone to be proactive by ensuring the safety of our children.