Overview of Teen Safety

Most parents and caregivers will have had many talks with their child about basic safety issues by the time the child becomes a teenager. However, talking with adolescents about safety can present new challenges for parents and teens.

During adolescence, teens struggle with separating from their parents, establishing their own identity, and becoming more independent. Adolescents often are influenced by peer pressure and can feel invincible, which may lead them to participate in risky behavior.

Additional teen safety issues are related to physical growth and increased strength and agility that usually develop before other skills, such as decision-making, common sense, and good judgment. Teens often feel invincible and they may take unnecessary risks in response to peer pressure.

Effective communication between parents and teenagers is very important to ensure safety. Parents should pay attention to their tone of voice when they are giving their teen advice or guidance, and show respect for the teen's intelligence and experience. It's also important to keep teens informed about current information regarding health and safety on a day-to-day basis. In many cases, allowing teens to read information is more effective than talking (or lecturing).

Preventing Sexual Assault

Sexual assault is a growing problem on college campuses. To learn more about strengthening sexual assault prevention efforts, please visit Culture of Respect.org.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 27 Aug 2008

Last Modified: 28 Aug 2015