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Six tips for a safe prom and graduation season

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and drivers age 15 to 20 are especially vulnerable to crashes.

That’s why prom and graduation season, when many young people are attending parties, is a time to focus on safety.

Marisa Hebble, coordinator of the Northampton Prevention Coalition, recommends these tips from Jeff Wolfsberg’s blog at The Partnership at Drugfree.org:

1. Set curfews: Teen car crashes and deaths increase exponentially late at night.

2. Do not rent a hotel room: Is anyone really surprised when a tragedy happens after parents rent a hotel room unsupervised? If a room is rented for teens, adults must be there to ensure safety and manage risk.

3. Be up when they come home: A curfew should not exceed parents’ ability to stay up.

4. Communicate expectations: Although you may feel you’ve talked about healthy choices and the consequences of breaking rules, proms and graduations are an important time to repeat this message. Consider role-playing some scenarios.

5. Keep the party local: Allowing teens to take off to a remote spot with no supervision creates unnecessary risk.

6. Ask teens how they are feeling about the prom, what they are excited about, what they are most nervous about. Find out who your teen is going to the prom with. If you don’t know the parents of your teen’s date and prom group, get to know them before the big event.

— BARBARA SOLOW

Related

Safe prom event challenges denial about teen drinking

Monday, June 2, 2014

WESTHAMPTON – Edward Roberts heard plenty of speakers warn about the dangers of drinking and driving when he was in high school more than a decade ago at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School. “I was one of the kids sitting in the back who shook my head, ‘that’s not going to happen to me,’” the 31-year-old Goshen resident said …

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