Recipe for perfect prom night

ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- This time of year is full of change for teens as another school year comes to a close. For some students this will mean attending prom, graduation or moving.

These events are often marked by celebrations where your child may have the opportunity to drink alcohol or take illegal drugs. There are many ways to make these times of transition safe.

Discuss your expectations with your child in detail regarding alcohol, whether it is to not drink at all or to limit their intake, depending on if they are of legal age. Inform them of the dangers of driving under the influence, riding with someone who is drunk and the sexual behavior that can ensue when alcohol is involved as peer pressure combined with intoxication often leads to poor judgment.

Additionally, speak to all parents who will be supervising your child, to ensure they know what your rules are for your child, as views may differ from parent to parent. Also get a complete itinerary, to include whose party your teen is attending, addresses, contact numbers and updates for any changes that may occur. Ensure your child has a reliable ride home and to and from events.

For teenagers, be sure to have a plan your parents know and update them if any changes happen as they need to know where you are and where you are going. Ensure that you have a charged phone for the evening. If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable at any time, trust your instincts, leave the area immediately and contact your parents. In regards to alcohol consumption, don't let anyone drive under the influence and know the warning signs for alcohol poisoning. Dial 911 on base, or 999 off base for any emergencies.

If you have any questions or would like further tips on prom safety, please contact Jacquelyn Ned Mann at 226-5011 or visit www.safeprogram.com.

(Editor's note: No federal endorsement is intended or implied with linked Web pages.)