Judy Doran is a retired school nurse who happens to be a prolific writer. She is the 2023 Maine school nurse of the year who often uses her public voice to pen “Letters to the Editor.”  The Portland Press Herald published her most recent piece today, hot off the presses, and just in time for #ASKday.  Read why we should all be ASKing because Asking Saves Kids!

Letter: ASK raises awareness about gun safety and children

June 21 is the first day of summer. School is out, and kids are home or at a friend’s home more. It’s also designated as ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Day. The day serves as a crucial reminder for parents and caregivers to inquire about the presence of unlocked firearms in homes their children visit.

The ASK campaign is a component of Brady United’s ASK To End Family Fire program. It was developed in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics as a nationwide effort to educate parents about the enormous risks of children having access to guns in the home.

“Family fire” refers to a shooting caused by someone having access to a gun from the home when they shouldn’t have it. In the United States, this translates into eight children every day who are unintentionally injured or killed by family fire. Some 4.6 million kids are living in a home today with an unlocked, loaded gun. These tragedies are entirely preventable if gun owners practice responsible storage and we all normalize conversations about gun safety.

Just as you’d ask about allergies, supervision, and other safety issues before your child visits another home, add one more important question: “Is there an unlocked gun where my child plays?” It might feel a little bit awkward at first, but it makes sense when viewed as simply a lifesaving safety issue. The more we do it, the easier and more natural it will become. So please just ASK, because Asking Saves Kids.

Judy Doran
Eliot, Maine

Here is the link to the original article, published today 6/21/24 in the Portland Press Herald:

You can read about Judy’s well-deserved honor as the 2023 Maine School Nurse of the Year: Judy Doran of MSAD 35 Named Maine 2023 School Nurse of the Year

Judy Doran BSN, RN, NCSN 

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