Going to the homecoming dance is an exciting experience for high school students, but many parents worry about their teens’ safety at such events. You might be concerned about the possibility of underage drinking, drugs, teen drivers, drunk driving and peer pressure. Talk to your teens before the big day and make sure they have the tools they need to have a safe and fun homecoming!
When talking to your teens about drinking, explain that you trust them but peer pressure can play a role in what they ultimately decide to do. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, underage drinking accounts for nearly 4500 teen deaths each year. Make sure your teen knows the dangers of underage drinking, as well as the laws. Drinking can impair their judgment and lead to other bad decisions—make sure your teen knows the consequences.
You may be worrying about how your teens will deal with peer pressure, so talk to them beforehand to make sure they know how to say no. If they are going with a date to the homecoming dance, arrange to meet the date and their parents prior to the dance. Explain to your teens that they should have self-respect and not give in to something just because others are. Set out a plan with your teens about where they are allowed to go. If you allow them to go to parties after the dance, make sure you get the details: where it’s located, who is hosting it, whether it is adult-supervised, etc., and get their contact information.
Statistics from the CDC show that teen drivers age 16-19 are four times as likely as adult drivers to crash. If your teens are driving, and taking passengers, be sure they are comfortable doing so. Make sure they wear seat belts and instruct all of their passengers to do the same. If your teens are riding with another person, the best way for them to protect themselves is to wear seat belts and make sure their driver is not drinking.
As with underage drinking, your teens may be asked or pressured to try drugs during homecoming. Give them the tools they need to make a good decision. Explain the dangers of drugs and tell them that it is okay to say no.
Talking with you teens beforehand can set your mind at ease while they enjoy this exciting time of their lives. Homecoming can be a fun and special experience, but make sure your teens are prepared for anything that may come their way. If an accident happens, Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point is here for you and your teens. Visit us online or give us a call at 727-819-2929 to find out more about our services.