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OSF HealthCare joins national campaign to prevent firearms deaths among children

Jeff Smudde / WCBU

OSF HealthCare has joined the nationwide gun safety movement, “Doesn’t Kill to Ask,” that guides and equips parents with the skills to protect their children from gun accidents.

Firearms are the leading cause of death in U.S. children, and health care systems across the nation have banded together in this campaign to engage in a specific type of preventive medicine.

Dr. Kurt Bloomstrand, the EMS director for East Central Illinois EMS and emergency medicine physician for OSF, said the campaign is working to raise awareness of a startling statistic.

“Thirteen children a day die from gun-related violence. Eight kids a day are victims of unintentional or accidental discharge of a firearm, you know, and that's eight kids too many or 13 kids too many,” he said.

Bloomstrand also said the campaign will help parents cover the important steps of safe gun storage.

“There's three simple steps, right, so we want to make sure that your gun is locked, whether that be a trigger lock, or locked in a safe cabinet or safe," he said. "The second thing is making sure that you remove the ammunition from your firearm. And then the third thing is your ammunition should be stored separate from your firearm. Again, we don't want kids or young ones snooping around, and they might accidentally find a gun that is loaded, and accidentally harm themselves.”

The “Doesn’t Kill to Ask” campaign includes broadcast, print, and digital marketing as well as a website that highlights the dangers of unsecured guns. The website also provides tips for parents on discussing the importance of gun safety with other parents.

The campaign hopes to normalize this type of conversation.

More information about the campaign and who is involved can be found at, and information on OSF Healthcare can be found at

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Isabela Nieto
I'm currently a Junior at Augustana College, working on a major in Multimedia Journalism and Mass Communication. In addition to interning at the station, I also work for the Augustana Observer, the college's official student newspaper, as the Arts and Entertainment Editor.