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Tips to Keep Teens Safe This Summer

Monday, June 12, 2023

Teens in a circle smiling down and smiling.Summer break is here, giving teenagers the welcome freedom from packed school-year schedules. But too much free time can spell boredom and lead to risky behaviors. Before the last day of school, NewBridge Services encourages parents to go over summertime ground rules to keep their teens safe. Requiring accountability will help them continue to learn responsibility and earn trust.

“The most important thing parents can do is talk with their kids,’’ said NewBridge Services CEO Michelle Borden. “Teens need to know what’s expected of them, especially during times when they have more independence.’’

Teens have aged out of many summer camp programs, limiting parents’ options for having their children in supervised activities. Teens may be spending significant time alone. To help keep them safe, NewBridge offers these tips to parents:

  • Articulate rules – including curfews – and the consequences of violating them.
  • Encourage open, non-judgmental conversations to strengthen the parent-teen relationship.
  • Get a rundown on your teen’s plans: Where are they going? How are they getting there? Tell them they must inform you if plans change.
  • Require your teens to respond to your texts and calls.
  • If they drive, make clear they may not use their cell phone while driving.
  • Instruct your teen not to drive with anyone who has been drinking alcohol, and let them know they can call you for a ride at any time.
  • Don’t be swayed into letting your teen partake in risky activities just because “everyone else’s parents said yes.”
  • Discuss the dangers of alcohol and club drugs.
  • Set limits on screen time.
  • Teach them basic first aid, especially if your teen will be at home alone.
  • While bedtime could be later, encourage they stick to a sleep schedule.
  • Include daily physical activity in their daily schedule.  
  • Invite your child’s friends to your home so you can get to know them.
  • Communicate with other parents.
  • Remind your teen to use sunscreen and sunglasses when outdoors, and to drink plenty of water.
  • Praise your teen when they use good judgment in the face of peer pressure.

“Communication, guidance and advance planning help to steer teens in the right direction and keep them safe,” Borden said. 

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