It’s high school graduation season, an exciting time of proms and parties celebrating a milestone in the lives of the new graduates.
Unfortunately, these celebrations often come with risks. As a parent you can take steps to help your graduate to avoid risky behavior that could endanger themselves and others.
Below are some suggestions we at Delco Alarm Systems offer to keep your teenagers safe during prom and graduation season.
DRINKING AND DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Celebrating with friends is a carefree way for graduates to have fun before embarking on a new journey. Unfortunately drinking, dangerous driving and drug use are all risky behaviors that can turn a celebration into a tragedy. According to AAA, the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the “100 deadliest days for teen drivers.”
You can’t be with your child all of the time, nor should you be. But you can help them to become equipped to combat peer pressure and avoid making the wrong decision.
Teens often ride in vehicles driven by friends. A national survey conducted in 2015 found that 20 percent of high school students had recently ridden with a driver who had been drinking alcohol. Another eight percent of student drivers reported having driven after drinking alcohol within the previous month.
Talk to your teen and have a plan as to what they should do if they find themselves in an unsafe situation. Let them know they can call you for a ride home, no questions asked. Make sure your teen knows they can have fun, be responsible and celebrate safely.
One of the biggest problems this time of year is unsupervised parties. Have a conversation with your graduate and insist they attend only supervised, non-alcohol parties.
For those parents who travel or work long hours, keep your child safe and accountable by reviewing your security cameras and knowing who is at your home at all times. Remember, parents may suffer stiff legal consequences for an underage drinking party at their home – even if they are not present. Also remove any temptation by securing your liquor and any prescription drugs in a locked cabinet. Let your neighbors or family members know if you will be out of town, and ask them to contact police if they see any suspicious activity.
If you are hosting a party make sure at least two adults are present. Limit the number of party-goers and don’t allow uninvited guests. Be alert to signs of drug or alcohol use, especially if teens are arriving at your home after attending another party. Also, make sure you and your child know the symptoms of alcohol overdose, which can be fatal. You are legally responsible for anything that could happen to a guest who uses drugs or alcohol in your home.
KNOW WHEN YOUR TEEN GETS HOME AT NIGHT
Most parents require their teens to be home by a certain time. Your home security system can notify you that your teen has returned home by their curfew. It can also alert you if they try to sneak out at night. It’s always wise to teach your children how to use the security system to avoid accidental alerts.
Your security system can also help avoid vandalism when you and your family are away. Empty homes are attractive to teens looking for a place to party. A monitored security system will keep your home secure while you are away.
Your new graduate is, at 18, able to vote and serve in the military. Make sure they know that along with their newfound freedoms, there are responsibilities.
With your help, your newly minted adult will be able to stay safe while enjoying this most memorable time in their lives.