LiveFree! Coalition Offers Tips to Parents to Keep Teens Safe During Spring Break
Pinellas, Fla. (March 1, 2014) – The smell of spring is in the air. Teens are starting to focus less on school and more on making spring break plans. With Tampa being ranked the ninth best spring break destination in North America according to Expedia.com, many teens are excited and parents are on edge. An organization located in Pinellas County, called the LiveFree! Coalition, wants to remind parents teens should never take a break from staying safe.
According to Clarkstonyouth.org, spring breakers average 18 drinks per day for boys and 10 for girls. According to travel industry experts, an estimated one in seven (15%) young people on spring break party designations are high school students.
“Spring break is a great time for teens to relax and spend time with friends away from school” says Daphne Lampley of LiveFree! Coalition. “Between the beach and the pool teens have plenty to do but they need to remember to think clearly and always make the good choices.”
Spring break is advertised on TV and in movies as a time to drink, party, and go wild. The thrill of living in one of the top spring break destinations can make it extremely difficult for teens to avoid the pressures of alcohol and illegal substances. Spring break can put pressure on teens to do things they normally wouldn’t do.
Below are some easy and practical tips from the LiveFree! Coalition which parents can use when talking to their kids about what they expect from them during spring break:
1. Plan an alternative trip. Plan a family friendly or suggest your teen join a youth group that offers opportunities for students to spend their time off from school making a difference.
2. Set a curfew. Teens often think that because they are on spring break they can stay out as late as they want. Make sure you set a specific time for your teen to be home every night during spring break.
3. Enforce the Buddy System. If your teens go out with friends, make sure they always stick in pairs and never leave their friends. Be sure they know to have their cell phones on them at all times too.
4. Host a teen-friendly beach or pool party. Teens are more likely to engage in risky behavior if they are surrounded by temptation. Have your teenager’s friends over for fun spring break activities at home or at the beach.
For more tips, and an in-depth discussion about spring break safety, attend the LiveFree! 11th annual Florida’s Kids & Alcohol Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, Mar. 25, 2015. LiveFree! is in partnership with WEDU, St. Petersburg College, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Pinellas County Schools, Pinellas Park Police Department, Operation PAR and others. The event will be held at the Digitorium at St. Petersburg College, 9200 113th Street, Seminole. Doors open at 5 p.m.