Contrary to what you may hear or see on television, most teens aren’t drinking and driving or using illegal drugs this prom season. Still, each year many talented and promising young people across the U.S. are, in fact, killed in prom-related accidents — many involving drugs or alcohol. This year, take time to review with your teenager the importance of exercising good judgment and making responsible decisions related to the risky behaviors that he or she might have an opportunity to engage in following a high school prom.
The following prom safety tips for kids and parents are provided courtesy of The Children’s Hospital:
"Should parents have a conversation with their son or daughter prior to prom?
Yes. There should definitely be a conversation between teen and parent before prom. Teens put lots of thoughts into their outfits and flowers, but there should also be planning with parents into the logistics of the night. It’s important to place attention on safety and good decision-making in order to promote a healthy, memorable experience.
What types of topics should be discussed?
Times of the event, after-prom activities, transportation, checking in, avoiding alcohol and drugs and the pressure to have sex are some ideas. Parents should also ask their teen what they are concerned about on prom night. Showing they trust their teen’s judgment will make their teen more likely demonstrate responsible behavior.
What are some ways parents can help their child avoid risk behaviors on prom night, such as drinking and having sex?
First, they need to discuss them. The major cause of death in this age group is motor vehicle accidents which are often related to alcohol use. These accidents are preventable if teens can make the right decision abut not using alcohol and drugs and not riding in a vehicle with a driver who is under the influence. SADD or Students Against Destructive Decisions has a ‘Contract for Life’ that may be useful tool to review with your teen www.sadd.org/contract.htm. Discuss the pressure to have sex in accordance with your family values.
What are some ways parents can communicate to their child about resisting peer pressure?
They could role-play some ‘what if’ situations with their child to help them practice standing up to peer pressure on prom night. The teen might laugh, but this might be a good way to start a conversation about these serious issues."
The organization also recommends the following prom safety and prom preparation tips for parents, to help guard the health and safety of all prom-goers this Spring:
"Ask your teen for a detailed itinerary for prom night including venues, times and contact numbers
Know exactly what after-prom activities are taking place and where—if at a friend’s house, call the parents to confirm and make sure that alcohol will not be present
Establish an agreed-upon curfew
Meet your teen’s prom date prior to the big night
Know the names of each individual in your teen’s prom group
Make sure your teen will have a charged cell phone that is turned on with them at all times
Set up established ‘check-in’ times when your teen will call you
Provide an ‘out’ for your teen, a contact number of someone they can call at anytime to get home or get help, to have on hand before prom
Remind your teen not to use alcohol or drugs or ride in a vehicle with anyone under the influence
Discuss the pressures to have sex with your teen beforehand in accordance with your family values"
Previously on the DC Metro Area Personal Injury Law Blog, we have posted articles related to:
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