Prom Tips

Prom Image

Plan ahead.
Don’t wait too long to make arrangements for prom—find a date or get a group of friends together, buy your ticket(s), order your tux or shop for a dress, call your salon for an appointment, etc. Be sure to check with your school's policy for attending end-of-the year activities like prom—many have rules, regulations, and requirements.

Start early.
Everyone wants to look their best on prom night! Get in shape well before the event—eat healthy, exercise regularly, get enough sleep—but don’t take extreme measures (e.g., follow a crash diet) to fit into that "perfect" dress. On the day of the prom, eat small, frequent meals to keep your energy high. Stay away from energy drinks, which can be dangerous and cause a drop in energy later.

Stay within your budget.
Spending outside your means—for your dress or tux, accessories, that stretch limo, etc.—can add a lot of unnecessary stress to the occasion. Talk to your date about sharing expenses and/or consider fun, money-saving alternatives—like getting together with friends to style each others' hair and do each others' nails and make-up.

Keep comfort in mind.
Sure, you want to look great—but you'll have a much better time at prom if you’re comfortable too. Make sure you can sit, walk, and dance in your dress or tux and your shoes—nothing ruins prom night faster than a trip to the emergency room for a sprained ankle or cut on your foot.

Avoid tanning.
Tanning causes skin damage and increases skin cancer risk. Despite this fact, it's estimated that about 2.3 million teenagers visit tanning salons each year in the United States—many of them during prom and graduation season. Avoid indoor tanning, wear sunscreen whenever you’re in the sun, and consider healthier options—like bronzing make-up or artificial tanners—to get that glow.

Choose your beauty products carefully.
Read labels and follow directions with care. Be sure to test products, as well as your application technique, beforehand—especially if you’re going for a more glamorous look with products you aren’t used to using. A bad reaction to a beauty product or new piece of jewelry can ruin prom night and severe allergic reactions often require medical treatment.

Use good judgment and common sense.
Don’t be caught off guard—be prepared to deal with pressure to drink, use drugs, have sex, etc. Talk to your parents, your date, and your friends ahead of time. Make a plan—including if and when you'll check in with your parents, where you’re going after prom, etc.—and stick to it. You don't want prom night to be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Know the consequences of making poor decisions.
Be a leader, not a follower. Talk to a trusted adult chaperone or contact your parents if you’re faced with a situation you aren’t able to handle—before, during, or after the prom. Know the possible repercussions of breaking the rules—your parents’ or the school’s—or the laws in your state. Always wear your seat belt and never get in a car with an impaired or distracted driver. Underage drinking can have life-changing consequences,

Report abuse.
If you or someone you know is a victim of abuse, bullying, or violence at prom, report the incident immediately. Dating abuse among teens—heterosexual or same-sex couples—is common and often goes unreported due to embarrassment or a reluctance to get involved. Talk to your parents or another trusted adult.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 29 Apr 2013

Last Modified: 29 Apr 2013