11 to 18 Years

For All Ages:

• Keep home smoke free

• Learn CPR & First Aid

• Install smoke alarms on every floor

• Test alarms monthly and replace batteries

• Keep water heater temperature below 120 degrees fahrenheit

• Don’t hold a child when carrying hot foods or liquids

• Obey water safety signs

• Teach children how to swim and when to call 911

Developmental Stages & Accomplishments

• Youth pushes for freedom of choice and greater independence.

• Experiences physical and emotional changes. Ability to anticipate outcomes is limited and erratic. Teens often think, “it won’t happen to me”.

• Strong need for peer approval and experimentation.

Road Safety

  •  Teen must learn laws and rules of the road.
  • Set firm rules:
    • Teen must always wear a seat belt as a driver or passenger.
    • Never drive impaired or with anyone who has been drinking or using drugs.
    • Obey speed limits.
    • Minimize distractions (for example, no cell phone use, no combing hair, etc.)
    • Do not drive when drowsy.
  • Develop a teen/parent agreement with rules and expectations.
  • Require helmet use on bikes, skateboards, mopeds and motorcycles.
  • Discuss dangers of racing.
  • Do not let youths ride in back of pick-up trucks.
  • Keep car in good condition – proper tire air pressure, good brakes – and buy a car in good condition.

Alcohol & Drug Use

  • Make sure teen receives education on dangers of drugs and alcohol.
  • Know where your child is as much as possible.
  • Know their friends and where they hang out.
  • Be available to give rides.

Suicide Prevention

  • Know the warning signs – if they talk about committing suicide, depression, aggressive or disruptive behavior, change in behavior or grades in school, giving away favorite objects.
  • Signs of depression: constant feelings of hopelessness or guilt, loss of interest in activities, weight gain or loss, changes in sleeping patterns.
  • If you are concerned, take action – call the suicide hotline listed in back of book.

Water Safety

  • Make sure teen knows basic rules of water safety:
  • Do not swim alone.
  • Don’t dive into unknown water or shallow breaking waves.
  • Check surf conditions with lifeguards.
  • Let people know where you are going to swim.

Sport Safety

  • Use protective equipment recommended for each sport.
  • Drink water before, during and after activity.
  • Stretch and warm up before and after activity.
  • Do not continue to play with injuries.

Firearm Safety

  • Keep guns locked away and ammunition stored separately from guns.
  • Check if homes where teen visits have guns.
  • Teach proper handling of guns – do not clean gun when others are present.
  • Keep safety lock on at all times.

Violence Prevention

  • Be consistent with rules and consequences.
  • Be available to listen without judgment.
  • Enroll child in after school activities or other interests.
  • Teach how to resolve conflicts without aggression.
  • Regulate Internet and video game use.
  • Pay attention to warning signs of aggressive behavior – bullying, cruelty to animals, fire setting, alcohol or drug use, angry outbursts.

Dating Violence Prevention

  • Talk about and model healthy relationships.
  • Keep communication open and non-judgmental.
  • Discuss unexplained bruises and behavior changes.
  • Talk about sexuality; how to say no and what to do in bad situations.