Prom and graduation season is a celebratory time of the year, but also a dangerous time.
It’s prime time for risk-taking behavior with very little supervision, according to Patricia Kokotailo (koh-koh-TEYE’-loh), Director of Adolescent Medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. The pediatrician says while alcohol, marijuana and tobacco are most prevalent, prescription drugs can be abused.
“Things like Oxycontin and Vicodin and Percocet and that.”
Kokotailo, also Professor of Pediatrics, and Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Faculty Affairs at UW Health, says it’s not enough for parents to rely solely on old-fashioned common sense. Moms and dads can be overwhelmed with what’s available to youngsters these days, and Kokotailo says “A Parent’s Guide to Teen Parties” can help.
The guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics focus on the negative health effects of drinking, including alcohol poisoning, and injuries resulting from drunken driving, as well as the longterm negative effects on a developing brain.
“And we know that they still develop into at least their mid 20s. It effects the part of the brain that is involved in things like memory with some of the judgment issues, with things like that.”
News of a party can travel fast on those social networking sites, like facebook, MySpace and twitter — making it more difficult to control the guest list. Kokotailo says parents could benefit from having a plan, networking with other parents, and communicating with their kids.
NOTE: Kokotailo is also lead author of a new policy from the American Academy of Pediatrics offering guidelines for pediatricians throughout the nation to screen teenagers for alcohol use.
Jackie Johnson report 1:36
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