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Your Healthy Family: Safety Tips on Prom Night - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Your Healthy Family: Safety Tips on Prom Night

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COLORADO SPRINGS -

High school juniors and seniors have a lot of things on their minds on prom night. Many hours and dollars have gone into preparation, the dresses and the tuxes, the flowers, the dinners, and the after parties. Neither teens nor their parents should forget about safety on prom night.

Lori Morgan, a former paramedic and current injury prevention specialist with UCHealth Memorial, spends her time talking about prom  night safety to teens at area schools.

"I just tell them the realities of what it would be like to have a car accident, to be unrestrained; to be thrown from the car you’re more likely to be killed. a=And we also try to tie some emotion into that because if you can, maybe they will remember next time to click it and put the cell phone down and make sure they are making wise choices in their lives, because we want them to be productive adults in our society and we don't want to count them as a statistic.”

According to statistics, spring time is fraught with danger for teens, says Morgan.  “My biggest concern around prom season for teens and parents is that the teenagers are safe and healthy, and much of what happens to teenagers is preventable. And car crashes are the number one cause of teen death in our country, and one in three of those crashes occur during prom and graduation season.  Inexperience of the driver is one thing, drinking and driving, doing drugs and driving having too many passengers in the car can be a problem. Speeding can be a problem, and certainly the distracted use of a cell phone or texting during driving is also problematic."

While most parents won't go along and chaperone on prom night, there are steps they can take and expectations that can be put into place to keep their kids safer on prom night.  Morgan suggests that “parents need to have a conversation and make the rules about always wearing your seat belt when you’re in the car, if you’re the driver or a passenger, weather your going around the block or just across the street.  Making sure that they are communicating with their parents, letting their parents know where they are going to be at, who they are going to be with, who the designated driver is, where the after party is, who are the parents what's the phone number at the after party, they can also take an Uber, taxi, or limo as an alternative to driving."

Lori finds it very rewarding to speak to kids and knows that not all of them are listening to her message.

"There's a lot of kids out there that may not listen or they might not think it's cool to follow the rules, but in my work as a paramedic I have seen what traffic crashes can do to teens, and it's totally preventable. So hopefully the message gets across to at least one in every school"

Another part of this battle is that the part of the brain that helps in decision making and keeping one safe is not fully developed until the age of 24 or 25.  That is why it's so important for parents to have those tough conversations and set rules for their kids in an effort to keep them safe, weather they like it or not.

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