(NEW YORK)– Prom night is probably the most anticipated night of the year for teens and the most dreaded for their parents. Most teens heading off to their prom will tell their parents that they know everything about drinking and driving, and their parents’ other concerns. Prom night always seems to be linked with drunk-driving injuries, deaths, date rapes, and pregnancies. It has become the night where teens’ poor judgment and dangerous choices have become instutionalized. To ensure everyone has a safe prom night, parents and guardians need to talk with their teens regarding prom night safety.
The “Know Your Enemy” team wants to share the following prom safety tips to ease prom anxieties for both parents and teens.
Tips For Parents
1- Know and discuss the school code of conduct before the prom with your child.
2-Does the school code of conduct ex-tend to off-site functions that have been approved by the school?
3-Know who your child is attending the prom with and obtain their cell phone numbers. Discuss the events for pre and post prom parties with other parents.
4-Talk with your child about the dangers of club drugs, warning signs and who to notify for assistance.
5-Pre-plan and role-play answers that your child can use to get out of uncomfortable situations. (e.g., offered alcohol, getting a ride from an intoxicated driver, unwanted sexual advances, etc.)
6-Discuss guidelines and a curfew. Discuss the consequences of violating these rules.
7- Discuss travel plans, use a reputable limousine service that will not allow a person to bring, serve or introduce alcohol into the vehicle.
8- Know who is driving to the prom and who will be a passenger. Limit the number of passengers to increase safety and reduce driver distractions.
9- Know the location of post prom parties and who is sponsoring them.
10- Talk to your teenager about the serious dangers and consequences of underage drinking and driving.
11- If your child’s plans change, confirm the change with the parents of other children. Remind your child that you are there for them, if they need a ride home or to an after prom affair. That includes a promise not to shame or humiliate them in front of others. Assure them that you always welcome being part of their making smart and safe decisions. This unconditional offer of help and advice should be an outstanding offer throughout their lives.
Tips for Teens
1- Alcohol is illegal for persons under the age of twenty-one. Underage drinking is illegal and can result in arrest, injury, or worse! Do not let friends drink and drive.
2- Plan ahead—make sure you have a safe plan for prom night. Discuss your plans with your friends, remind each other about responsible decision-making and confronting peer pressure.
3- Do not accept any drinks from some-one you do not know. If you leave your drink, discard it and get a new one.
4-Do not leave your possessions unattended.
5- Learn the warning signs for alcohol poisoning and drug intoxication, contact 911 for assistance and immediate treatment.
6-Have a responsible person avail-able for transportation for a safe ride home or in case an emergency arises.
7-Remember to charge your cell phone and have it with you. Know where you are and where you are going, keep your parents and friends informed.
8- Trust your instincts – if you feel endangered or uncomfortable, leave immediately.
9- Intoxication by alcohol or drugs can lead to poor judgment and dangerous situations.
10- Remember to contact your parents if your plans change. Practice and discuss answers you can use to get out of uncomfortable situations.
11- Do not allow anyone in your car or limo that has alcohol, drugs or weapons. It is dangerous and every one in the car is at risk of getting arrested. It is illegal to alter your drivers’ license or any other form of government identification.
Prom and graduation are important coming of age milestones for every teenager. Help your child celebrate them in a safe but meaningful way that they will remember for the rest of their lives – and hopefully one day they will pass on the tradition of a fun, drug- and alcohol-free celebration to their own children.