It is the time of year every older teenager looks forward to all their school days – prom and graduation time. These are treasured rites of passage meant to be enjoyed and celebrated. But they can also, unfortunately, be times of enhanced danger for young people.
Below are some suggestions offered by the New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) for teens all over the state to have safer prom and graduation experiences.
Help them face reality
It is easy when you are young to believe you are invincible and that bad things like catastrophic car wrecks and driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges – or even felonies, like manslaughter – could never apply to your situation. You don’t consider that you could wind up being an innocent victim of those actions, either.
However, one recent survey by AAA produced quite worrisome results. Of those teenagers participating in the survey, 41% admitted that they will likely indulge in underage drinking or drug-taking during the prom and graduation season. Another 84% believed their friends would get behind the wheel impaired before they would call their parents to get them home safely.
Insist on chaperoned activities
Whether it’s the dance itself, after-prom and graduation parties and trips down the shore, make sure an adult is present and aware of the activities.
Have teens check-in
Parents can insist on a short video call to assess their child’s condition at some point during the evening’s festivities. Background shots are proof they are where they said they would be.
If your child gets injured on prom or graduation
First, make sure that your son or daughter gets all the immediate and future medical care they need to heal. Parents will also need to ensure their teens’ interests are legally protected if they get injured by a negligent driver.