Monday, May 21, 2007
Don't Be a Victim: Prom Safety
Prom night -- it's every teenager's dream. But for parents waiting and wondering if their child will get home safe, it can be a nightmare -- Don't Be a Victim. Tom Haynes is here with some simple prom night rules that can keep your teen safe.
WSVN -- Prom night -- all dressed up and ready to party all night long.
"It was just prom, you know, people shouldn't just die after prom."
But all to often it ends in tragedy.
It's a harsh reality. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, during prom season, there is an increase in the number of alcohol-related accidents.
But don't be a victim.
Officer Frank Jackson, Coral Gables Police: "It's a very exciting time but at the same time we want it to be a real safe time."
Officer Frank Jackson of the Coral Gables police says, long before prom night, you should make a date with your teen to talk.
Officer Frank Jackson: "Sit down with your child, have a heart-to-heart, real honest discussion on drinking and driving."
It's up to the parents to make sure their teen understands some basic rules.
Rule number 1: No drinking and driving.
Officer Frank Jackson: "You may not think it, but some of the elements -- such as the drugs and the drinking -- are going to be there, and the temptation for your child to get involved in that type of activity will be there."
Second: Part of the talk should include finding out your child's plans for the evening.
Officer Frank Jackson: "Especially where they are going to be at all times, especially from drop off to the prom to the possible party after. Your child knows where the party is at. They know which hotel they are going to because a lot of times these plans are made ahead of time."
Third: Make sure your child tells you who they will be with prom night, especially their date.
Officer Frank Jackson: "Try to have the prom date over for dinner one night and get to know that individual. If possible, get the child's parents' information."
And, finally, make sure your child has a way to phone home.
Officer Frank Jackson: "If your child doesn't have a cell phone now, it might be a good time to let them borrow yours, have that open, constant line on communication."
And make sure they know tha,t whatever happens that night, they can call you, no questions asked.
Officer Frank Jackson: "Let them know you are available unconditionally, at any given time to pick them up."
Tom Haynes: "And make sure if you are going to rent a limo, do an extensive background check and check references as well. In Central Florida, the limo driver showed up drunk to pick the kids up. Needless to say they got quiet a scare."