Keep your teens safe during the 100 Most Dangerous Days

texting while drivingWhen spring hits, more and more teens will be heading out "“ with their friends, on the roads, in the water. Anywhere.

With this increased amount of activity brings with it an increased risk of accident and injury.

Spring and summer time are referred to by many as the 100 Most Dangerous Days for Teens.

"Car crashes are the leading cause of death for the ages of 14 to 18," said Jennifer Dixon, RN, BSN, trauma injury prevention coordinator at McLaren Macomb. "Many teens are starting to drink at an earlier age, and if they drink, many times they'll drive. Obviously this is a dangerous mix."

Dixon says drinking and driving isn't the only risk this time of year. Boating, bicycling and other outdoor and water activities send many to local emergency rooms. These injuries, she says, can range from anything to sprained ankles to serious brain and spinal cord injuries.

"Those are the injuries we need to really prevent," she said. "Traumatic injuries to the brain and spinal cord are permanent "“ they'll be with them for the rest of their lives."

Dixon stresses parents to talk to their teens and to make sure they are taking precautions to keep themselves safe.

Some points to stress:

  • Wearing your seatbelt "“ the seat belt is still the best safety measure in the event of an accident.
  • Avoid all distractions in the car and limit the number of passengers "“ too many passengers in the car can be just as distracting to the driver as their cell phone.
  • Have a back-up if teens do drink "“ create a plan to give teens someone to call for a safe ride if they have been out drinking so they don't try to get behind the wheel, or ride with a drive who has also been drinking.
  • Wear bicycle helmets "“ more people are on the roads now than ever before and not everyone looks out for pedestrians or bike riders.
  • Know when to dive "“ only dive into water that's clear enough that you can see the bottom and have about 9 feet, while avoiding dirty, murky water in ponds and rivers.