Letter to the Editor: Tips to keep teens safe
The weather is getting warm and there are many celebrations and gatherings happening in the area. The Mt. Abram Chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) would like to remind our community that this should be a happy time and bad decisions can change the lives in our community, forever.
All teens are at risk for drinking. According to maineparents.net, A 2008 statewide survey reported that 48.8 percent of Maine students in grades seven through 12 have tried alcohol. In addition, 28.2 percent of the teens said they drank within one month of the survey, and 14.0 percent reported binge drinking (five or more alcoholic beverages in a row) within two weeks of the study. More importantly, 49.2 percent of teens don't believe their parents would find out if they were drinking. According to the survey results, they're probably right. Only 21 percent of Maine parents believe their teen has tried alcohol
With the help of www.who-inc.org, we would like to share some tips for keeping our youth safe.
Parents can protect their children by following these guidelines when hosting teen parties:
• Host safe, alcohol-free activities and events for youth during prom and graduation season
• Refuse to supply alcohol to children or allow drinking in your home or on your property
• Be at home when your teenager has a party
• Make sure your teenager’s friends do not bring alcohol into your home
• Talk to other parents about not providing alcohol at youth events
• Report underage drinking
If your teen is attending a party:
• Know where your child will be. Call the parent in charge to verify the occasion and location of the party and ensure there will be adult supervision.
• Ask how many teens are expected at the party and offer to help supervise or provide refreshments.
• Make certain that the host will not be serving or allowing alcohol. Ask how they plan to handle the situation if a teen shows up with alcohol or has been drinking.
• Indicate your expectations to your child and the parent hosting the party that if the teens leave and go somewhere else, you will want to know.
• Set a curfew for your teen to be home and when they arrive home, have them check in with you.
• Know how your child is getting to and from the party. Reinforce the message to your teenager that they should never allow someone who has been drinking or using other drugs to drive them anywhere.
• Assure your child that they can telephone you to be picked up whenever needed.
• If the activity seems inappropriate, express concern and keep your child home.
If we keep these things in mind, it can be a fun and safe time for everyone.
The Mt. Abram Chapter of SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions)