NEWS RELEASE
Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.


August 20, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

NATIONAL ASK DAY LAUNCHED IN MARYLAND

Baltimore - The first National ASK (Asking Saves Kids) Day was launched today in front of the Johns Hopkins Children's Center "dome" in East Baltimore, as Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., and national honorary chairperson Carole Price joined members of the hospital staff and American Academy of Pediatrics in support of the announcement. ASK is a national advertising campaign developed in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics, that calls for parents to ask their neighbors if they have a gun in the home before sending their child over to play.

While pediatricians, nurses and staff at the Children's Center currently discuss gun safety with parents at every routine well-child visit to the primary care clinics, it is hoped that by encouraging pediatricians across the state to do the same they will heighten parents' awareness of gun violence in an effort to make the issue less about politics and more about kids' safety.

"Gun safety is a life and death issue," said Dr. George J. Dover, Director of Johns Hopkins Children's Center. "As trusted guardians of children's health, pediatricians need to help parents protect their children by discussing gun safety."

Attorney General Curran applauded the support of the medical community, citing their effectiveness in speaking out about other dangers to children, such as smoking, failure to use seat belts, and media violence. "Together with Johns Hopkins and Maryland's Academy of Pediatrics, we intend to distribute this message to every pediatrician in the state," Curran said.

Carole Price, whose 13-year-old son John died three years ago today as a result of an accidental shooting at a friend's home, urged parents not to feel uncomfortable in asking about guns, "the ASK Campaign gives parents something simple and easy to do to help prevent gun violence against their children."

For Further Information Contact:
Sean Caine, Office of the Attorney General (410) 576-6357
Staci Vernick, Johns Hopkins Children's Center (410) 223-1747

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