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November 19, 2014

Keep Teens Safe During the Holidays

By Tampa Bay Parenting

The holidays are a time we share with families and friends being thankful for health and life. This also tends to be one of the busiest times of the year. With parents distracted by holiday activities and time off from school, this can lead to great temptation from teens. An organization located in Pinellas County, called the LiveFree! Coalition, wants to remind parents to slow down during the holidays and remember that your teenagers safety comes first.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people aged 12 to 20 years old drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States and more than 90% of this alcohol is consumed in the form of binge drinks.

“Alcohol is often a large part of the holiday season,” says Daphne Lampley of LiveFree! Coalition. “It is usually the gift of choice for coworkers, a staple at holiday parties, and it is normally served at family events.”

With the holidays heavily influencing alcohol, statistically, the time between Thanksgiving and New Years has the largest number of drunk driving fatalities than any other time. LiveFree! encourages parents to get even more involved during this time and talk with their families openly about the dangers of substance abuse.

Below are some easy and practical tips from the LiveFree! Coalition which parents can use to help keep teens safe during the holidays:

  1. Alcohol-free parties are fun. Hosting a teen-friendly, alcohol-free party for your family and friends is the best way to eliminate temptation and ensure that everyone (even adults) gets home safe.
  2. Be clear about expectations. Talk to your teens about your how you expect them to behave at holiday parties. Remind them that while adults might drink alcohol, it is not a party favor for anyone under 21-years-old.
  3. Lead by example. Teens often look up to adults and follow in their footsteps. If you do drink at a holiday party, make sure that you have a designated driver.
  4. Keep your alcohol secure. Store the alcohol away from where teens can get it.

Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks, spend time with family, and show gratitude for all that one has in life. The LiveFree! Coalition of Pinellas County wants to remind you to slow down this holiday season, give thanks for what you have, and remember to not let the holiday season get in the way of keeping your teenagers safe.

About LiveFree! Pinellas

LiveFree! Pinellas is a coalition that raises awareness about the harmful effects of substance abuse among youth, young adults and adults in Pinellas County. By offering trainings, advocacy, town hall meetings, a Speaker’s Bureau, environmental strategies and awareness events, LiveFree! encourages Pinellas County families to live safe, healthy and drug-free. For more information, visit the blog at www.livefreeblog.org  or facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/livefreeFL.

 

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