Preparing for a Safe and Fun Spring Break!

For most teens, spring break is simply a time to relax, have fun, and be adventurous. Whether on vacation, just hanging out in the neighborhood, or having fun with friends, it’s important teens remain safe during spring break.

While this time will be incident free for most, for some youth time off from school poses a risk of temptation by alcohol and drugs. It is up to parents and other caring adults to discuss and guide their teens in how to stay safe when faced with hard choices about risky situations and behaviors.

To prevent youth injuries and accidents, sometimes even fatal ones, parents must have a game plan of guidelines and safety measures. Here are some tips to help parents keep their teens safe during spring break:

1)      Reinforce expectations – Being an upperclassman has its privileges but it also comes with more responsibilities.  Take some time to reestablish the family rules and the consequences for breaking them. It’s important to reinforce which specific expectations are in place while they are on spring break. Let them know that drinking and drug use remains unacceptable.

2)      Make each moment count – Let teens know that making bad choices like drinking or using drugs can lead to negative consequences which could last a lifetime. Let them know you don’t want them to miss out on things because of poor decision making.

3)      Help your child plan – More than likely your teen will be spending time with their friends and staying busy during spring break. Help establish your child’s itinerary, including who they will be with and phone numbers for where they can be contacted. Establish call-in times and give the option of calling at any time for help or advice, which includes picking them up if needed. Plan check-in times for your teen to call you.

4)      Provide an alternative plan – Consider planning a chaperoned, alcohol-free party for your teen and their friends who are in town during spring break. You can also suggest volunteer or community service activities to offer a safe and productive use of their time.

5)      Keep stock – Keeping a log of how much alcohol and prescription drugs are in your home is important.  Make sure you’re always aware of what you have in your cabinets and refrigerators.

It only takes a few minutes for teens to make a poor decision, therefore, take a few minutes to talk to your kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Ultimately, your child does not want to disappoint you, so letting them know how you feel and discussing the risks of drug use can potentially affect their entire life. Establish a family policy together with your children to help guide them towards making the right decisions.