Fancy dresses, tuxedos, corsages, dinner, dancing and more. Spring is in the air, and it's Prom time! It's a night many teens look forward to and many parents stay up worrying about their children's safety. Parents and teens should be aware that amid all the excitement, there could be added pressure to drive too fast, drink, do drugs or even have sex.
Key ways to stay safe:
1 Never set your drink down. Whether it's water or soda, never put your drink down and if you do, get a new one. It's far too easy for someone to slip something into it and many drugs are odorless and tasteless. According to Fredericksburg Police Department's spokeswoman, Natalia Bledsoe. "It is not necessary for a police officer to administer a breathalyzer exam on a person to arrest that person for public intoxication....the Code says that the state of intoxication is determined by observable behavior. The officer must then be able to articulate those observed behaviors to the magistrate when affecting the arrest. Slurred speech, loss of coordination, and the odor of alcoholic beverage on a person are all examples of observable conditions.
2 Have a safety plan. Have a discussion about what to do in various scenarios such as someone having alcohol, drinking and driving, driving and texting. The more scenarios you and your teen are prepared for, the better off you'll both be able to handle it. My mother always promised to never ask questions if I called and said, "Please come get me." She'd rather me be safe than quiz me over any of the events.
3 Learn about your teen's date or group. Make sure you take time to meet your teen's date and get to know the group they're going with. Be certain they all know when curfew is. Have your teen keep their cell phone with them at all times. (Girls will love having a sparkly clutch to keep a little bit of money and their cell in.)
4 Don't walk anywhere alone. Prom is a time of celebration. Minimize time away from friends and classmates. Poorly lit indoor areas or outdoor areas like parking lots pose a greater risk than well-lit places. Self-defense items like pepper spray are forbidden according to the Fredericksburg Independent School District Code of Conduct. Stick with friends. There is safety in numbers.
Most of all, keep the communication lines open, remain aware and enjoy this rite of passage. Prom is a time for creating memories.
Stacia D. Kelly is a Director with USANA Health Sciences, Inc., and holds a PhD in Holistic Health. She is the author of the recently released book, Reduce You, and co-author of 9 Months In 9 Months Out, a holistic pregnancy book by moms for moms. She is an author, entrepreneur, wife, and mother. She plays doorwoman to 4 cats and a dog while trying to get all her work in during the day.