When you think of spring break, you typically think of college students partying in Daytona Beach or South Padre Island. What many people forget is that high school age students are at risk for potentially dangerous drug and alcohol consumption during spring break as well. Many high school aged children will be left at home unsupervised during spring break while parents are at work during the day. If you are allowing your child to travel with their friends during spring break, there are some important things to discuss with your child before they head off on their vacation. The pros at our Wilmington drug and alcohol treatment center have put together a list of tips you should not miss. Keep reading to learn more! For quality teen addiction rehab call Legacy Freedom.
Youth Spring Break Safety Tips That Parents Should Read
Being involved in your child's planning for their spring break, whether they are staying home or traveling is important. Give them the freedom to make their plans and choose their activities, but then follow up on who will be present, where they are going, and what they will be doing. If your child is traveling, will an adult be going along or will there be a family member of someone in the group nearby? Asking these questions may make you seem uncool, but openly discussing your child's plans and knowing who will be around them is helpful should an emergency arise.
If your teen is staying home this spring break while you are at work, the opportunity for trouble presents itself in many ways. More than 8,000 kids each day take their first drink or try their first illicit drug. Prescription painkiller use is on the rise, 2,000 kids each day try them for the first time for non-medical reasons and another 6,000 experiment with marijuana. These experimentations take place at friends' houses, inside your own home, and with groups of peers. While it is impossible to prevent your child from being offered these things, researchers say that teens whose parents talked to them about the dangers of using alcohol, tobacco or other drugs are 50 percent less likely to use in the first place. Setting clear expectations with your teen about which friends can visit, where they are allowed to go, and how frequently they need to check in is important. Ensure that they understand the risks involved with using drugs or alcohol. Just telling them that they are bad simply isn't enough.
Reduce the access your child will have to substances that can be found inside your home. Lock up or take painkillers with you when you leave your child home alone. Make beer, wine and other liquors inaccessible. One of the biggest risks in your home for your teen is inhalants. Huffing these chemicals, or using them to get high can cause convulsions, coma or even death. Some common household chemicals, and even gasoline, produce a powerful rush that many children become addicted to quickly. One in five kids will have gotten high from inhalants by the time they reach eighth grade. Know which items are commonly used for huffing and ensure that they are locked away.
Stress to your teen the importance of choosing safety over consequences. If they do make a wrong choice and decide to attend a party or drink or use drugs; they need to make the right choice and call or text you for help. Really impress upon them how dangerous it is to get into a vehicle with someone else who has been drinking or using drugs. Staying in a situation where they feel unsafe or are concerned about what is happening around them is not a good idea either. Many parents have given their child a code word or phrase that they can use to get help without seeming uncool in front of their friends. Talk with your teen and have a safety plan in place. Ensure that your child understands that their safety is more important than avoiding getting in trouble. If you need help with this advice, call our Wilmington drug and alcohol treatment center for more information.
For those teens who will be traveling this spring break, there are many potential dangers that need to be discussed before they close their suitcase for the last time. Setting clear expectations and having a good understanding of what their plans are while they are away is essential to ensuring that your teen will be able to have fun and stay safe while they are away. If you aren't accompanying your teen on their trip, arrange a time to meet the person who will be chaperoning your child. Exchanging contact information and rules before the trip is crucial.
Monitor your teen's phone even more closely than usual. Monitoring their social media channels, browser history, and GPS location is important. Ensure that the GPS locator shows in the areas where you expect them to be during their trip. Suspicious or out of the area behavior warrants a call. Have your teen call you in the morning and the evening while they are away. Let them know that these calls are mandatory.
Talk to your child about not over posting on social media. Locations, plans, and travel companions can easily be discerned from pictures, status messages and geotags, so posting all those awesome selfies and pictures should probably wait until they are home. It's hard to know exactly who is seeing their posts, even with the tightest privacy settings, so keeping their location and other details off social media is important. Spring break is a good time to tighten up privacy settings and talk to your child about only posting things on social media that they would be ok with their grandparents seeing. An inappropriate picture can have long-term consequences.
Basic travel safety should be addressed with your teen before they leave home:
- Practice heightened awareness while traveling. Stay in well-lit and populated areas. Ensure that the Uber or Lyft information on your app matches the vehicle you get into and follow along during the ride to make sure you are headed the right way.
- Store the hotel's name, address and phone number in their phone so that if they need help getting back to the hotel, they have a way to contact someone.
- Pickpockets love crowded subways or metros. Keep your backpack or purse in front of you where they are visible. Ensure that valuables are behind a zipper or fastener of some sort.
- Use the hotel safe to store an extra credit card, passport, laptops or any other valuable electronics that are easily stolen. Make and keep a copy of your identification in there as well.
- Visit ATM's with a friend or chaperone and ensure that the keypad is covered while entering your PIN number.
- Stay hydrated and reapply sunscreen often. A bad sunburn can make you sick for the entire trip.
Talking with your teen about their safety and the expectations you have for them while they travel is important. Address the issue of drinking and partying while away before they go. Make sure that they know the signs of alcohol poisoning and what to do if someone begins showing these signs. Talk to them about staying with their friends and protecting their drink at all times.
Holistic Wilmington Drug and Alcohol Treatment Center | Legacy Freedom
At Legacy Freedom of Wilmington, we know that drug and alcohol addiction can happen to anyone. If you are worried that your child may have a drug or alcohol problem, we can help. Our holistic approach to substance abuse is what sets Legacy Freedom apart. Call our Wilmington drug and alcohol treatment center to help your child begin their journey to a sober and productive future.