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1000 SW Jackson Suite 230
Topeka, KS 66612-1274
(785) 296-1223
(785) 296-8649 (FAX)

Jan Stegelman

Executive Committee:
Randall Bolin

Dennis Cooley, MD
Medical Advisor
American Academy of
Pediatrics, Kansas

John Drees
Douglas County
SAFE KIDS Coalition

John Halbran
Kansas Safety Belt
Education Office

Jim Keating
Kansas State
Firefighters Association

Elena Nuss
Kansas State
Fire Marshal's Office

Cindy Samuelson
Kansas Hospital Association

For Immediate Release:
June 18, 2007

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Is There a Gun Where Your Child Plays?

'Asking Saves Kids' - June 21 is National ASK Day

Safe Kids Kansas joins gun safety advocates in urging parents to ask whether there are firearms in the homes where their children play. National ASK Day, June 21, is proclaimed by the Asking Saves Kids campaign to remind parents to ask, “ Is there a gun where my child plays?”

In Kansas, 38 percent of households report having firearms in or around their home. Each year, in the United States, approximately 60 children ages 14 and under are killed by accidental gunshots and more than 730 go to the emergency room with injuries from gun-related accidents — not counting approximately 6,600 injured in accidents involving BB guns and other air-powered guns.

“Kids should not have access to guns,” says Jan Stegelman, Safe Kids Kansas coordinator. “More than half of the parents surveyed who own guns and have children ages 4-12 said they keep a loaded or unlocked gun in the home.”

According to a 2002 survey commissioned by the ASK campaign, 97 percent of parents who own guns “would not feel uncomfortable if asked about the presence of a gun in their home by another parent,” yet 53 percent of parents said they had never asked. “Parents should ask the adults in any homes their children visit whether there’s a gun in the home and whether it is locked up where children can’t get to it,” says Stegelman.

Safe gun storage means:

  • Guns unloaded and ammunition locked up in a separate place
  • Guns locked in a safe or lockbox or fitted with a trigger lock
  • Keys or combinations to gun locks and ammo boxes stored out of reach of children
  • BB guns, pellet guns and other air- or spring-powered guns stored the same way as firearms
Also, says Stegelman, “Teach kids not to touch a gun and to tell an adult if they find one. Most kids cannot tell the difference between a real handgun and a realistic-looking toy.”

For more information visit

Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of 67 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters are located in Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Nemaha, Osage, Pottawatomie, Republic, Rice, Riley, Saline, Smith, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Wilson and Woodson Counties, as well as the cities of Chanute, Emporia, Leavenworth, Norton, Pittsburg, the Wichita Area and the Metro Kansas City Area. Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide , a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. The lead agency for Safe Kids Kansas is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. For more information visit