“Graduation season is here again. You want to make sure you graduate ‘with’ your class! Unfortunately, these happy occasions sometimes involve underage drinking which can result in tragedy,” reminds Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna. “It is therefore critical that parents keep the lines of communication open when it comes to talking to their kids about the dangers of underage drinking and drunk driving.”
Know who’s driving all evening. Are your kids or a friend driving, is there a designated driver, or will they be renting a limo? Make sure your teen has a way of contacting you and you can contact your teen; warn them of the dangers of talking or texting while driving.
Get the evening’s itinerary as well as a list of names and phone numbers of each person with your teen. Make sure your teen knows how to handle difficult situations; avoiding accepting a ride from a drunk driver, rejecting offers of alcohol or legal and illegal drugs, or not succumbing to pressure to engage in sexual activity. Insist that no changes be made to the evening itinerary unless you grant permission. Know who is supervising all events in which your teen is participating. Make sure your teen has money to cover alternative transportation costs (cab), if necessary.
And parents, the same lesson here goes for you. Set an example of responsibility and accountability to your children!
For additional graduation safety, talk to school administrators.
Fire Chief Sam DiGiovanna