Beach Week is on the horizon for students across the country, and while the main concerns for students may be where to go and how to divide the food costs evenly, the main issue for parents is the safety of their children. A survey in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine lists many concerns including frequent underage drinking, drug use, driving while intoxicated, and promiscuous unprotected sex. However there are many steps a parent can take to ensure their child’s safety and well-being. A recent article in the Washington Post offers parents a few suggestions including drafting together and signing a voluntary contract of behavior, increased parental participation at Beach Week or in the planning stages, and offering their graduates alternatives to partying on the coast. If there’s no dissuading to be had, parents should have their child to research the city’s curfew, hours of public beach access, and whether or not there is public transportation available. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends parents encourage the buddy system, get to know their children’s friends and trust who they will be traveling with, and communicate to your child what is expected and what will (or will not) be tolerated. Send with your child medical emergency information, including the name and address of an emergency contact as well as any conditions or allergies, which may assist emergency personnel.
Schools are also getting involved and doing their part to prevent tragedy. A high school in Montgomery County, Maryland has issued a series of tips and "to do"s to all the students.
Social host laws are in place to deter parents and adults from purchasing alcohol for minors. In Virginia, adults are held "accountable when they fail to halt underage drinking in their homes." According to a survey cited by the Partnership for a Drug Free America, parents often draw on their own experiences as a child with drugs and alcohol when determining rules they set for their children.
Previously on the DC Metro Personal Injury Law Blog, we have posted articles relating to:
Congratulations to all the graduates and their parents. Have fun on the sandy shores, and stay safe.