The Scariest part of Halloween

This year halloween falls on a Friday, for parents that means you don’t have to worry if the kids are up late trick or treating. The first thing that comes to mind is that there will a lot of Halloween parties. For me, this is the scariest part of Halloween.

I will never stop pleading with people and asking that you please plan ahead. Designated a driver. If your hosting the party – collect the keys at the beginning of the party, have a phone number of a local cab company handy and call a cab for your guests  – don’t let people leave your home drunk and get behind the wheel. It doesn’t matter if your only driving down the street, there is no excuse – don’t drink and drive!

There are going to be a lot of people out there this Halloween. Children are going to be walking around later this Halloween and even later in the evening, families will be heading home from Halloween celebrations. Please take appropriate measures to assure that you don’t hurt someone.

Every year we hear the stories of Halloween celebrations turned tragic for innocent people, like Jean Dyess or Jessica Fraire, enjoying the holiday.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost half (48%) of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities on Halloween night in 2012 involved a drunk driver. These numbers usually are even higher when the holiday falls on a weekend like it does this year.

This Halloween, MADD urges both partygoers and trick-or-treaters to plan ahead to help keep everyone safe.

Going trick-or-treating:

  • Be extra alert when crossing the street.
  • Wear bright, reflective clothing or add reflective tape to costumes and treat buckets.
  • Bring a flashlight (with extra batteries) so you can see and be seen at night.

Attending a party:

  • Designate a non-drinking driver before you head out to make sure you and your loved ones arrive home safely.
  • Save the number of a local cab service in your phone or download a ride-share app prior to heading out.
  • Consider hiring a shuttle or limousine service to transport you and your friends to and from your event.
  • Arrange a hotel stay for you and your friends on the evening of the event so no one drives home impaired.

Hosting a Halloween party:

  • Never serve alcohol to those under the age of 21.
  • Plan safe parties, including providing non-alcoholic drink options to guests.
  • Provide plenty of food to keep your guests from drinking on an empty stomach.
  • Be prepared to get everyone home safe by having the number of a taxi service on hand for those who need a ride.
  • Be ready with some clean linens so you can turn your sofa into a hotel for guests who need to stay the night.

Click here to get the pattern to carve your own MADD Jack-O-Lantern!

– See more at: http://www.madd.org/blog/2014/october/Halloween.html#sthash.8v5ywHPF.dpuf

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Encourage your Teens to Lead Drug and Alcohol Free this Red Ribbon Week

Originally postted madd.org/blog

Every October during Red Ribbon Week – just in time for homecoming and the holidays – schools and communities across the country encourage young people to live a drug-free life. This year for Red Ribbon Week, MADD is launching new resources to help teens, educators and community members empower teens to take a stand against underage drinking.

One important resource for teens is The 411 on Teen Drinking. This booklet, sponsored by State Farm®, contains useful information to help teens resist peer pressure, influence other teens to not drink before age 21 and never get in the car with someone who’s been drinking.

Every person who downloads our teen booklet, The 411 on Teen Drinking, in the month of October will be entered to win a new Apple Watch in 2015!

Help us reduce the deaths and injuries that come from underage drinking by visiting www.madd.org/redribbonweek to download all of our free Red Ribbon Week resources and learn how you can get involved in your community.

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– See more at: http://www.madd.org/blog/2014/october/Red-Ribbon-Week.html#sthash.sGxKm88Y.dpuf

Red Ribbon Week Ideas for Parents

Here are some ideas to make this year’s Red Ribbon Week celebration the best yet!

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  • Use Red Ribbon Week as an opportunity to continue talking to your kids about drugs. Let them know that alcohol and drug use will not be tolerated.
  • Work with the PTSA To Plan a School-Wide Red Ribbon Rally.
  • Enter the Red Ribbon Photo Contest for a chance to win an iPad for you and your family – and $1,000 for your child’s school.
  • Encourage your kids and other students to take a stab at creating the 2014 National Red Ribbon Theme. Gain national recognition and $500 of Red Ribbon theme merchandise for your child’s school. This year’s theme was created by a middle school student in Solon, Ohio!
  • Use our social media tips to post Red Ribbon Week messages on your Facebook and Twitter accounts.
  • Watch Natural High’s free celebrity drug prevention videos with your child and use their discussion questions to have a conversation with them about drugs and alcohol.
  • Secure and take inventory of your medicine cabinet to prevent prescription drug abuse.
  • Write an article about the importance of Red Ribbon Week in your school’s Parent Newsletter.
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  • Contact a local governmental official about declaring October 23rd-31st Red Ribbon Week in your community.
  • Work with your teachers to plan fun celebration days during Red Ribbon Week, such as Wear Red Day, Put A Cap On Drugs (Hat Day), Put A Sock On Drugs Day, Be On A Drug Free Team Day (Wear Your Favorite Team Gear), Shade Out Drugs Day (Wear Sunglasses), etc. Encourage your friends to participate.
  • Bring Red Ribbons to your place of work.
  • Sign the Red Ribbon Pledge.
  • Organize a Miles of Quarters Campaign to support prevention.
  • Get to know the parents of your children’s friends. Work together to set boundaries and monitor behavior.
  • Insert Your Best Idea Here. Add suggestions to the comment section below. We’ll filter out the best and add them to this list!

images and information from redribbon.org

Win $1,000.00 for your school and an iPad for your Family

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According to the National Survey of Drug Use Health’s Summary of National Findings, almost 9% of youth ages 12 -17 in the United States use illegal drugs.  The study further shows that early parent involvement and  a strong disapproval from parents could have the prevented substance abuse by 96%. Wow, those statistics are eye opening. We need to talk to our children about this.

I will be sharing upcoming post about Red Ribbon week, October 23 – 31st, 2014 in support on going efforts within the our families to prevent drug and alcohol use. We must educate ourselves and our children. The first fun thing that I’m sharing is National Family Partnership (NFP)  Annual Red Ribbon Week Photo Contest.

The contest encourages families and schools across the country to participate by decorating your home with this years Red Ribbon Campaign theme –” Love yourself. Be Drug Free”.  The contest promotes a fun and easy way to open up conversation about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. 

Ten families across the country will be selected to entered to win  the grand prize: an iPad and $1,000 donation to a K-12 school of their choose. There will also be one prize awarded for a school decoration. 

RR_Contest_Flyer

Import Tips:

  • Submit photo to RedRibbon.org between October 1, 2014  – November. 4, 2014.
  •  You must be 18 years or older to upload the photo.
  • Ask your family, friends and classmates to vote for you, beginning on November 5, 2014.
  • Eleven winners will be announced Dec. 5, 2014.

Click here for the contest rules.

Remember to take the Red Ribbon Pledge

WHAT’S THE PLEDGE ABOUT?

  1. As parents and citizens, we will talk to our children and the children in our lives about the dangers of drug abuse.
  2. We will set clear rules for our children about not using drugs.
  3. We will set a good example for our children by not using illegal drugs or medicine without a prescription.
  4. We will monitor our children’s behavior and enforce appropriate consequences, so that our rules are respected.
  5. We will encourage family and friends to follow the same guidelines to keep children safe from substance abuse.

A Rush of Emotions

Birthday’s and Anniversary’s are always hard. Contrary to the popular saying, I know first hand that “Time does NOT heal all wounds”. It’s hard for people who have never lost a son or daughter to understand the tremendous grief that resides within you.
     Time teaches you to walk with your grief. It’s hard for the people around you to understand and my hope is that they would never understand, for that would mean they are suffering the same pain.  
     Today is my handsome Son’s birthday. I remember all the wonderful, funny and silly things he did. The sound of his guitar ringing through the house, his slicked back hair and 501 jeans. I love you and miss you everyday may you play your guitar with the angels, until we meet again my son. 
Michael
 Originally posted in  MADD.org.blog, September 11, 2014

As with any tragedy, there comes a time to observe the traumatic event’s anniversary. Many people believe that grief will wane with time. However, feelings of anger, guilt, isolation, loneliness, sadness and despair often occur long after the disaster. 

On the anniversary of the September 11th disaster, many people find themselves once again contemplating the event and its tragic consequences.

Life threatening trauma, including learning that a loved one has been seriously injured or killed, can provoke unsettling emotional or behavioral reactions over a long period of time.

We always say: First there’s the crash, then the lifelong impact.

For many victims the anniversary of a tragic event, no matter how many years have gone by, may make the loss more real and bring out a rush of emotions.  Often the pain increases and becomes more intense following the first anniversary.  This is a normal reaction. Grief is a journey and everyone grieves in their own way.

hands-support-2Here are a few tips to keep in mind for an anniversary of a tragic event:

  • Talk.  Unspeakable trauma becomes more manageable when it’s verbalized. Individuals who were personally affected by a tragedy, but have not talked to anyone should seek support. Those who were not personally affected but are experiencing some hypersensitivity, should also talk to someone who understands trauma.
  • Honor individual differences in trauma reaction. Your way is not the only way. Respect the different ways in which people continue to cope. People cope the best way they can.
  • Reach out and remember those more directly affected. Many people who are grieving feel that friends, family, and their community have “forgotten” about them. This can lead to increased feelings of isolation and loneliness. Reach out and listen to their stories. Although they may say the same things over and over, honor these experiences by listening rather than giving advice or telling them that “time heals all wounds.”
  • Do something to help. Recognize the possible reactions to the anniversary. Remember that those directly affected may not be the only ones to experience anniversary reactions. Emphasize that people can be helped by small deeds.  Plant a tree or perennial plant in memory of a loved one who died or in honor of someone who was injured.
  • Seek professional support.  Recognize that grieving is normal, but encourage people to seek professional support when they need it.

If you are struggling with grief, call 877.MADD.HELP to speak with a victim advocate, day or night.

– See more at: http://www.madd.org/blog/2014/september/anniversary.html#sthash.Eps0WI9n.dpuf

Tips to Protect Children from Drunk Driving

Children are our greatest resource and our future. That’s why MADD is taking action to help protect the children who are needlessly put in danger every day in this country.

While drunk driving is recognized as a violent crime, driving impaired with child passengers is not commonly acknowledged as a form of child endangerment or child abuse. No one should have to ride with an impaired driver. However, children have little choice when the driver is a parent or an adult caregiver.

kidincarIf you see an adult who is visibly impaired attempting to drive with a child in the car:

  • Calmly suggest alternative transportation, recommend the driver postpone travel or offer to drive the child, if appropriate. Avoid a heated altercation that can put the child in further danger.
  • Call 911 at the time of the incident with as much information as possible (such as name of the driver, vehicle description and/or license plate, and destination). Also be sure to give them your name and contact information for responding officers.
  • Document the situation so that your notes can be used later.
  • Notify another parent or caregiver of the situation.
  • Teach children techniques for keeping themselves safe if they are ever forced to ride with an impaired driver (see below).
  • Report your concerns to state or local child protective agencies.

Here are some tips you can teach your kids or a child you know who might find themselves in a situation where they are riding with a drinking driver:

  • Sit in the back seat.
  • Buckle-up tight and use your booster seat, if needed.
  • Put all of your belongings on the floor.
  • Do not bother the driver and stay quiet.
  • Tell a trusted grown-up immediately about any unsafe ride.

– See more at: http://www.madd.org/blog/2013/september/child-endangerment-tips.html#sthash.9Icp1jCx.dpuf