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It's Your Prom! Make it Safe, Healthy, and Fun

girls in formal attireProm is one of the highlights of high school. While planning and enjoying the big night, make smart decisions to help keep it safe, low-stress, and fun! If you or someone you know is going to the prom, here are a few tips for a great experience.

Look and Feel Awesome

Get in shape slowly and wisely

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, eat less junk food (foods and drinks high in calories, saturated fat, salt, or added sugar), and don’t crash-diet. Choose drinks with no or low calories and fat. Water is always a great option.

Find fun ways to stay active, such as walking, dancing, gardening, swimming, and more. Be active for 60 minutes a day most days of the week. Get plenty of sleep.

Protect your skin

Enjoy the skin you're in, and protect it. You don’t need a tan to be beautiful, and you definitely don’t need sunburn! Just a few serious sunburns can increase your risk for skin cancer later in life. Make sure you protect yourself from the harmful effects of UV rays, and avoid indoor and outdoor tanning. Use sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.

Follow directions, cautions, and warnings on products

If you’re changing hairstyles, hair color, and using new cosmetics or products, carefully follow all directions, cautions, and warnings on the label. Dyes and relaxers can hurt skin, hair, and eyes. Never dye eyebrows or eyelashes, as it might cause blindness.  Always test a product in a small area of your body first. Allergies may happen the first time or after multiple uses. For some people, using cosmetics may cause itching, redness, rash, sneezing, or wheezing.  Stop using the product if problems develop, and remove all products before bedtime to prevent skin and eye irritation. If in doubt, let the professionals handle it.

Wear appropriate shoes

High heels may be in style, but they can increase your chances of falling if they’re too high or uncomfortable, or not something you usually wear. Prevent injury and wear appropriate shoes that won’t affect how you walk or dance.

Stress Less

Watch your budget

If cost is an issue, look for alternatives to spending a lot of money. Expensive doesn't necessarily mean better.

Plan ahead for safety

Tell family members or a trusted adult what your plans are ahead of time. Make an agreement with friends to check on one another during the evening. Be sure someone you trust is available for you to call if your plans change or you need help.

Remember you don't need a date to have fun

Whether you plan to go with a date, with friends, or on your own, the point is to have a good time. Going with a group or meeting friends at the event can be just as fun as going with one special person. Whether you're going solo or with a group, make sure you don't drink and drive, or ride with someone who has been drinking.

Protect Yourself and Your Friends

Just say no

Some people feel pressured to drink, smoke, use drugs, or have sex on prom night. However, drinking is responsible for over 4,500 deaths among young people each year and is associated with other problems like sexually transmitted diseases and unintended pregnancy. Alcohol and drugs hurt your judgment and may result in you being harmed or harming others. Just because others do something doesn’t make it a good idea or right for you. It’s OK to say no.

Travel safely

Teen drivers are four times more likely than older drivers to crash. Always wear a safety belt -- no matter how short the trip. Don’t drink and drive, and don’t get in a car with a driver who has been drinking.

Watch out for dating violence

Dating violence is a very real issue for many people. This type of violence can occur among heterosexual or same-sex couples. It can occur in couples who have been together a long time and between people who just met. Many teens do not report it because they are afraid to tell friends and family. The abuse can be verbal, emotional, physical, or sexual. Know beforehand what your sexual boundaries are, and communicate those to your partner. Respect yourself and others, avoid alcohol and drugs, and tell family or call 911 if you or someone you know is being abused or is in danger.

Plan for after-prom parties

If you plan to go to an after-prom party, be sure it is adult-supervised. Be aware of your surroundings. And it’s always good to go with a “buddy”. Avoid using alcohol and drugs.

Make sure parents know where you are at all times in case of emergency. Call a parent, guardian, or someone you trust in case plans change or you need help.

Have Fun!

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