May 2012 Health Beat

Karen’s Kolumn is written by Karen Dolley, R.N. and Grange Friend… we appreciate her knowledge and her willingness to share! This month’s topic is especially timely and important… it’s prom season!

Plans for Prom 2012, are being finalized at many of our local high schools. Prom should be a time of fun-dancing, laughter, and a celebration of friendships! But, it is also a very dangerous time.

 Teens… tell family members what your plans are ahead of time and call if you change your plans or if you need help. Make sure your cell phone is charged. Never drink and drive. Automobile accidents are the leading cause of deaths among teenagers and about one third of the deaths are alcohol related. Never get in a car with an impaired driver and never let anyone else get in a car with an impaired driver. Remember, drinking is associated with many other problems including physical and emotional violence, sexual mistakes and misjudgments leading to unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, and accidents like drowning and falls. Never leave a drink unattended and never accept a drink from someone else. Always wear a seat belt-70% of teens killed during prom are not wearing their seat belts. If someone has passed out, call 911-it may save their life. Make a plan with your friends to check up on each other during the night. If you are going to go to an after prom party, make sure it is going to be supervised by an adult. Trust your instincts! If you feel uncomfortable, something may not be right. Leave immediately!

Parents… if you can afford the expense, rent a limo. This will reduce the chances of a teen driving while drowsy or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Talk to your teen often about the consequences of sex and drug and alcohol use. Get to know or call the parents of your teens date to discuss the arrangements for prom with them. Set up times for your teen to call and check in-after the prom, upon arrival at an after prom party, and before heading home. Reinforce with your teen that it is OK to call in at anytime for any reason. Remember, underage drinking is illegal. Never offer alcoholic beverages to a minor. Never host a party where alcoholic beverages are served to minors.

Make smart decisions. Stay safe. Have fun.

For more information, visit www.cdc.gov or www.sadd.org.

 

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