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