Tag Archive for safety

Guest Post – Keeping Your Teens Safe and Sober When School’s Out – By Frank Lawson

Keeping Your Teens Safe and Sober When School’s Out

By Frank Lawson, http://edutude.net/


Summer is the time for fun and relaxation for your teens, but it can also be the time for engaging in risky behavior. Thanks to the ample free time and minimal supervision that teens enjoy over the summer months, many adolescents find themselves in troubling situations they don’t encounter during the school year.

Every day during summer vacation, 11,000 teens drink alcohol for the first time, 5,000 have their first taste of nicotine, and 4,500 try marijuana. This is a huge jump from school year rates, so make sure you talk about the dangers of drugs and alcohol before the last school bell rings. You might feel like your words of caution will have little impact, but statistics show that teens who believe their parents disapprove of substance use are less likely to experiment.

Summer break is also the most dangerous time for teen drivers — teens get into 16 percent more accidents and eight teens die every day during the 100 days following Memorial Day. Since nearly 60 percent of those accidents involve a distracted teen behind the wheel, institute strict rules for your teen drivers. Restrict them to one passenger at a time and take a zero tolerance approach to texting and driving.

One thing you shouldn’t take a zero tolerance policy on is underage drinking: While you don’t want your kids drinking before it’s legal, it’s more important to ensure they don’t drink and drive. Explain to your children that, despite your disapproval, you’ll pick them up if they ever need a safe ride home. That way, you can keep your teen from joining the 23 percent of teens who admit to driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana.

The good news? Teens are less likely to be a victim of assault during the summer months. However, physical violence against teens peaks when the school year begins, so summer break is a good time to talk to your child about conflict resolution, de-escalation, and when to turn to an authority figure.

Conception rates among teens also plummet during summer vacation. This makes summer the ideal time to broach the talk with your teen, since they’re less likely to be on the defensive. Be sure to cover consent, contraception, and healthy relationships so your child is prepared for what the next school year throws at them.

With these numbers, you’re probably wondering how you can keep your kids safe this summer without resorting to locking them indoors. The best strategy? Keep them busy. Teens who are occupied with fun extracurriculars and family activities are less likely to find themselves in trouble. However, getting teens busy over the summer can be a challenge. Teens can be restless, and toys and trips to the pool don’t quite entertain them like they used to.

Get your teens involved in summer camp for a structured activity and positive role models in the form of college-aged counselors. Camp will help regulate your teen’s schedule so they’re not staying up all night and sleeping all day, and it also keeps them learning so they face less of a struggle when classes resume. Whether you choose drop-in camp sessions, day camp, or sleepaway camp will depend on your family’s summer schedule and budget, but any option is a great way to keep your teen happy and out of trouble.

Volunteering may not be the most appealing option for your teen at first, but volunteering at the right organization can help your teens make friends, learn about potential careers, and build a resume that will impress college admissions officers. Look for opportunities with other engaged young people, like a nature trail clean-up day or peer tutoring program.

Plan family vacations. Time away and free from distractions can help you reconnect with your teen. Building a strong parent-child relationship is central to keeping your teen on the right path. It may also alert you to concerning behavior changes that you hadn’t noticed in your busy everyday life.

No matter what approach you take to keeping your children safe this summer, make sure you find time to talk to your teens about risky behavior, peer pressure, and how they can protect themselves.

Image via Unplash

Evanston Fire Explorer Program

The Evanston Fire Explorer Post 911 is a youth oriented program directed at helping young adults who have an interest in the fire service.  Young men and women between the ages of 14 and 20 are invited to become Fire Explorers with the Evanston Fire Department.  Our program provides an opportunity for junior high, high school and college students to become familiar with career opportunities available in the fire service.

The program meets twice a month at one of the five Evanston Fire stations.  Here, explorers are taught the basic skills of firefighting and EMS.  Much of the training is hands-on with supervision from instructors from within the department.  Post meetings also include public service projects that help to promote the fire department.

Explorers will also have the opportunity to utilize their hard work and training by responding to emergencies through the ride along program.  Explorers assist with virtually all routine tasks in the community and around the fire station, including community relations, fire prevention, equipment and station maintenance, and training. These qualities will benefit them not only in fire service careers, but also in future endeavors.

Fire Explorers wear a uniform and are provided with turn-out gear and other safety clothing.  The program is designed to encourage and promote accountability, being safe, communication, teamwork, fitness and the development of leadership skills.

Evanston Fire Explorer Post 911

How to Keep Your Kids Safe and Healthy on Social Media – Tues. March 11

Are you just learning Facebook? Or are you a proud master of WeChat or Vine?

When it comes to social media, no matter how technologically savvy we parents may be, our kids are almost certainly a step or two ahead! But we don’t have to be online experts to make sure social media is fun and safe for our children.

Learn how to foster communication, provide guidelines, and set limits about social media with Washington School’s own Carrie Goldman. “How to Keep Your Kids Safe and Healthy on Social Media,” the final session in our parent ed series, will focus particularly on how to help children be educated users of social media, and how to respond to cyberbullying.

Interpretation and child care will be provided.

Tuesday March 11 at 7 p.m. in Washington School’s library, 914 Ashland Ave, Evanston.



Stranger Danger

Make sure your kids know how to be careful:

An Evanston friend’s middle school aged son was recently riding his bike near Nichols middle school and was asked by a stranger if he wanted a ride home. The man opened his trunk showing him there was room for the bike. Her son took off and sped home. They filed a police report and the police also let them know of a similar incident near Lincolnwood school when a boy was walking his dog and was asked by a man in a car if he wanted to see something in his car. The boy snapped a pic of the license plates and the police did pick him up. From what I hear they were different men.