Prom season is here. For students, it is about celebration, staying up late, dancing and having fun with their peers. For parents, it can be worrisome and stressful night because prom night can set our kids up for risky behavior.

On prom night, our teens may feel there are exceptions to the rules on such a special occasion. It is occasions such as these that having clear rules and expectations can help keep them safe.

Parents — please talk to your children about safety and making good choices. And parents, here are some tips for you:

• Talk to the parents of your teens’ friends to confirm the plans for the evening and to exchange cell phone numbers.

• Talk to your teen about your expectations for before, during and after the prom, and consequences if the rules are broken.

• Have your teen check in at different times.

• Know the law. Adults can be charged with providing a place for minors to consume alcohol. Hosts can also be liable for the safety of their guests.

• Stay up and check in with your teen when they get home.

• If you hear of an underage drinking party, call your local police tip line ahead of time to stop a party before it starts. This is the safest option.

We congratulate our seniors and are cheering everyone on as they cross these major lifetime milestones. Together we can make lasting happy memories.

Allie Burke, Rumford

Editor’s note: Allie Burke is project manager of River Valley Rising, a part of the River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition — a nonprofit organization working to make a positive difference in the health and well being of communities in the River Valley region.


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