Spring is an exciting time for high school teens, as it means several events are taking place, including graduation and prom night. It's also a time to carry out some tried and true tips for safety.
As prom night approaches, here are five tips for parents and five tips for teens that will make for an enjoyable and safe evening for everyone.
- Take care of your body. Many teens are tempted to try crash diets or crazy workouts in last-minute attempts to look perfect for prom. These usually end up not working and make a person feel awful. Eat a balanced and healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get a full night's rest every night to look your best.
- Protect your skin. Looking tan might be all the rage, but sunburns and skin cancer are not worth it. Wear sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher, or consider getting a spray tan or using sunless tanning lotion.
- Be careful with new cosmetic products. Before trying a new product on your skin or hair, read the directions thoroughly, accounting for any warnings given. Test the new product on a small area of your body to avoid painful reactions or irritation. Remember to remove all products before bedtime to prevent problems, and stick to professional hair and skin treatments when possible.
- Wear appropriate shoes. Think about the activity you’ll be doing when choosing your shoes, and bring an extra pair to change into if needed. Don’t wear shoes you can’t safely walk in, no matter how cute they might look.
- Make a plan and stick to it. The day and evening activities should be well-planned, including transportation and arrival times. Be sure someone you trust knows the plan and is available for you to call if anything should go wrong. Always wear a seatbelt, don’t drink, and don’t ride in a vehicle if the driver is even slightly intoxicated.
The best way to have a good time is for everyone to stay safe and healthy, before and during prom night. Enjoy this time by planning and making smart decisions.
- Set and maintain curfews. Choose an hour to which you’re willing to stay up, so you can ensure everyone gets home safe and sound. If you must alter the curfew, don’t let time go unaccounted for. Know where your teen is, who else is there, and what the activities are. Ideally, you should also know the parents and adults who are supervising any given event.
- Keep parties local and within short driving distances. Should your teen need help or a ride home, you don’t want to have trouble finding a location or getting there in a short amount of time. Avoid letting afterparties take place at a remote or vague location, such as the beach or a cabin.
- Don’t rent hotel rooms. A room should never be rented for teens or minors because an adult likely won’t be present, and alcohol likely will be. If a room or venue is rented, appropriate adult supervision should be on hand to manage any potential risks.
- Communicate expectations. Your children should know what you expect from them on prom night, as well as the risks of using drugs, drinking and having unprotected sex. Be open and honest about consequences and the risks involved. Help them make a plan for healthy choices and safe outcomes. Listen to their fears and hopes for the evening. If you need help talking about these issues, drugfree.org has some great advice.
- Know the plan. Before the night of revelry begins, discuss all planned activities, locations and parties. It’s also a good idea to get to know the other kids’ parents before the event takes place, should you need to contact anyone.
As you talk with your teens, listen to how they feel. Talk about any potential worries or fears, along with what they’re most looking forward to. This will help them understand you’re just trying to help them have a good time while keeping them safe.