It’s that time of year. Everyone is ready to celebrate. Proms, graduations, and other events mark the end of the school year. Memories of these wonderful occasions will be with our youth for the rest of their lives. These occasions are associated with a higher teen traffic death rate, often due to the increased temptations to participate in drinking activities. Be proactive with your child by having open conversations to increase their awareness to keep them SAFE!
Tips for Prom and Graduation Parties
• Make sure your son/daughter has a plan for the evening and that you know the plan.
• Contact the parents of your teen’s date. Discuss the plans for the evening and plan to meet each other.
• Know who is driving to and from – if it’s a limo know the alcohol policy.
• Talk to your son/daughter about the risks of alcohol and drug use.
• Take stock of your alcohol in your home prior to the beginning of the night.
• Talk to your son/daughter about the school’s prom rules and your prom rules and the consequences of violating them.
• Always let your son/daughter know that you will be available to pick them up if they feel unsafe regardless of the circumstance.
• Communicate with other parents of your teen’s friends. Discuss the plans for the night and the need for locking up and inventorying all alcohol and prescription medication in advance.
• Have an escape plan for a bad situation. Define a code word or text message they can send to alert you to help them out of this situation. Be sure to reinforce with them it is alright to call you anytime.
• Set up times they are to call and check in. These may include when the prom is over, when arriving to an after prom destination, or before heading home.
• Remind your teen to keep you notified of any changes in the plan.
• Limit the number of teens in the car. The risk of teens getting into a car crash increases as the number of passengers increase.
• Stay up until your prom-goer returns home for the night and let them know you will be waiting up for them.
• Keep yourself safe and remind your friends to keep safe.
• Have the number of trustworthy cabs programmed on your phone.
• Have emergency cash to pay for these rides.
• Be sure to have plenty of rest the night before the prom.
• Think through and talk with your friends about pressure situations. Have a plan to handle them ahead of time.
• Consider going for breakfast, bowling or seeing a midnight movie after your prom. These are fun activities and none of them involve alcohol or illegal substances.
• Have your cell phone charged and with you at all times.
• Eat a good breakfast and lunch the day of these activities to keep your energy level up.
• Never leave your drink unattended or accept a drink from someone else.
• Drive on well-lit roads and be sure the vehicle you are driving is well maintained and has a full tank of gas.
• Never ride with someone who is fatigued or impaired in any way.
• Wear your seat belt.
• Know the warning signs for alcohol or drug overdose and call 911 immediately is you see someone exhibiting them.
• At all times, know where you are and where you are going. Make sure your parents know also.
• Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable over any situation, something may not be right. Leave immediately.
Written by: Beth Stefura, Ohio State University, Extension Educator, email@example.com
Reviewed by: Lisa Barlage, Ohio State University, Extension Educator
Resource: Safety Awareness Officer, Mahoning County Sheriff’s Department