October is one of the biggest months for popular American sports, with the MLB, NBA, NHL, and NFL all in season. This fall, your teens may want to attend a game, or maybe a few, if they are big sports fans. Alternatively, your teen may want to go to one of these big venues to attend a concert with their friends. While these events can be a blast and provide incredible memories for years to come, they can also be dangerous.
Just last week, I went to Yankee Stadium for an ALDS game. I had a great time, but on the train home, I saw a boy who couldn’t have been older than 15 dragged onto the train by a stranger. He was passed out from drinking too much, and wouldn’t have been able to get home if not for the kindness of a few people who noticed and made sure that he got on the right train.
Alcohol and drugs may be enticing for big events, because teens think it will make the experience better and they want to experiment. However, these issues and others can cause health and legal problems for your teen. Here are a few tips to help keep them safe.
Alcohol and Drugs
It’s no secret that our society tells us that sports and alcohol go hand in hand. After all, what’s a tailgate without a few beers? Many venues even have people bringing around alcohol that you can buy directly from your seat while you enjoy a game.
While it might be socially acceptable – and even encouraged – to drink at sporting events, remember that it is always illegal for minors to consume alcohol.
Drinking too much at a sporting event could cause your teen to get separated from their friends, kicked out of the arena, or even arrested by the police. Talk to your teens about these consequences to help them avoid them.
Drugs are another common issue, especially at concerts. Talk to your teens about the dangers of drugs.
Another issue at big events such as sports games and concerts is fighting. Drugs and alcohol can obviously exacerbate such a problem, but fighting can occur even when people are sober. For example, fans of opposing sports fans can get aggressive and escalate tense situations.
Remind your teen that fighting at these events is never ok. They could get seriously hurt and again, they could be kicked out of the venue. They could also be arrested for assault or similar charges.
Issues with Crowds
Unfortunately, additional issues with big events have come up. Although it is still rare, there have been shootings and bombings at places like these where there is a high concentration of people.
Encourage your teen to discuss any fears or anxiety related to these issues with you. You can help them ease these fears by encouraging them to take stock of where the exits are at the venue they are attending and establishing a plan for emergencies among their friends.
Also remind your child that security at these events is heightened to help avoid these issues. If you or your teen is still worried about these issues or others, such as a fire at the venue, communicate about your fears and establish a plan to minimize the danger.
If your teen had a problem at a festival, sporting event, or concert, contact my office. I can answer your questions and help your family determine what to do next.