January 1, 2022

PEDs Discharge Tips

ACEP Tips & Peds EM Section Modified ASK Discharge Instructions for use in Pediatric Emergency Departments.

Download PDFs

What are they?

This website includes files that can be downloaded and printed to be distributed to parents upon discharge from the emergency department. They were developed with the support of the American 
College of Emergency Physicians Section Grant awarded in June of 2014. These discharge instructions are adapted from the ASK program (ASK Saves Kids), a non-profit program that encourages parents to ask if there is an unlocked gun in the homes where their children play.

Why are they important?

  • 1 in 3 homes have firearms, many left loaded and unsecured
  • Nine children and teens are shot every day in unintentional shootings and 80% of unintentional shootings of teens under the age of 15 occur in the home.
  • By asking this one simple question “IS THERE AN UNLOCKED FIREARM IN THE HOME?”, it is our hope that parents will take a role in decreasing these terrible statistics.

How should the ASK discharge instructions be used?

Many electronic discharge instruction programs automatically provide elements of various public health messages regardless of the presenting complaint or final diagnosis. We believe that unintended shootings in the home because of unsecured firearms are preventable and a significant public health issue. Make the ASK discharge instructions part of your standard discharge instruction packet.

Let parents know that they will be receiving these discharge instructions and why. Help them ASK.

Some parents may feel uncomfortable with this line of questioning but it is easier if integrated into a conversation that includes other questions that they may ask before their child goes into another home: ‘Will they watch TV?’ ‘Will they have access to the internet?’ ‘Will they eat a snack?’ ‘IS THERE AN UNLOCKED FIREARM IN THE HOME?‘

Publisher’s Notice
The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) makes every effort to ensure that contributors to its publications, as defined by the United States Copyright Office, which includes, but is not limited to, distribution in printed materials, on the Internet, or in any other medium, are knowledgeable subject matter experts. Readers are nevertheless advised that the statements and opinions expressed in this publication are provided as the contributors’ recommendations at the time of publication and should not be construed as official College policy. ACEP recognizes the complexity of emergency medicine and makes no representation that this publication serves as an authoritative resource for the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, or intervention for any medical condition, nor should it be the basis for the definition of or standard of care that should be practiced by all health care providers at any particular time or place. If drugs are mentioned, they generally are referred to by generic names; brand names might be added for easier recognition. Device manufacturer information, if provided, is listed according to style conventions of the American Medical Association. To the fullest extent permitted by law, and without limitation, ACEP expressly disclaims all liability for errors or omissions contained within this publication, and for damages of any kind or nature, arising out of use, reference to, reliance on, or performance of such information.

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