Springtime in Houston means it’s once again prom season for the high school set. Parents who remember this rite of passage from their own teenage years may worry about their kids getting caught underage drinking or worse, being hurt in a car accident.

But however much parents might want to protect their children from harm, at some point the fledglings must fly away from the nest. Being proactive and talking to your teens about prom safety can help set them on the right path.

Have a safety plan in place

As any parent knows, stuff happens. Even the most obedient, sober-minded teen can get caught up in the moment. Egged on by peer pressure, some may slip up and take that drink or hit a joint.

Even if your teen doesn’t indulge, he or she may still be stuck in the quandary of having to ride home or to an after-party with another intoxicated teen behind the wheel. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Parents can reduce the risk of their teenagers getting hurt or killed on prom night by ensuring that a sober driver is available. One way to do that is to arrange for a few couples to share a limo to ferry them to and from the venue.

Another good idea is to tell your son or daughter that if anything goes wrong and they don’t want to drive or ride with another teen who has been partying, they can call you for a hassle-free ride home. No lectures — just show up and sort it all out later.

Have phone check-ins

Parents can ask their teens to call them when they are leaving the dance and again when they arrive at the after-party. That way, moms and dads are aware of their kids’ itinerary. Having to check in with the parents might also be enough of a deterrent to ensure they avoid any booze.

Despite all precautions, sometimes wrecks are inevitable. Make sure that you take steps to hold the at-fault drivers liable for any injuries suffered by your teenager on prom night.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “It’s Your Prom! Make it Safe, Healthy, and Fun,” accessed April 27, 2018