Help your teen stay safe on prom night

Helpful advice for parents and teens

Help your teen stay safe on prom night

Prom night is probably the most anticipated night of the year for teens and one of the most dreaded by their parents. Although most teens think they know everything about how to stay safe, parents know otherwise. And, according to safety experts, it will take more than just talk to ensure a safe evening for all.

Encourage your teen to make responsible choices, set a curfew, and provide a reliable transportation plan. Stay in communication throughout the evening, establish emergency contact protocols, and trust your instincts. By preparing and communicating openly, you can help your teen have a memorable and safe prom experience.

Here are several tips that go beyond “don’t drink and drive.”

For parents:

  • Get involved in planning prom night.
  • Talk specifically about what they should say or do in certain high-risk situations. 
  • Consider having a mutually agreed on “contract” for the night.  Set out rules regarding post-prom parties or other activities – with whom they will be, where, for how long and what they will be doing.
  • Get the names of other prom-goers and phone numbers of their parents.
  • Set a curfew based on past behavior, but be reasonable.  This is a special night.  Have your teen call if there is a delay.
  • Send your teen a text message during prom night telling them to have fun, but reminding them not to do anything that could ruin a great time.
  • Limit the number of passengers in a car.
  • Be on call for a ride home or other emergency.
  • Have a “no questions asked” policy on getting home safely.
  • Join with other parents and rent a limo for them.
  • Be the chauffeur for the night, but don’t meddle. Rent a vintage car to make it more special.

For teens:

  • Make an agreement with parents to not drink and drive, and not to ride with anyone else who is drinking. You can download a contract here.
  • Resist high-risk activities of all types.
  • To avoid tampering, do not leave your beverage unattended.
  • Check in with your parents during the night.  It will go a long way toward reassuring them about how you are doing.
  • Always buckle up.
  • In short, follow your parent’s rules.