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8 tips for teen safety at Coachella

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With thousands of teens heading off for the weekend to the Empire Polo Club in Indio for the 3-day Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, safety is prominent on the minds of parents. Coachella is an annual three-day music and arts festival that attracts over 100,000 participants and features many genres of music including alternative rock, hip-hop, and electronic music.

Well-known and emerging artists such as Blur, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the XX, the Postal Service, Red Hot Chili Peppers and many more perform on several stages set up throughout the grounds, each playing music non-stop. Open to all ages, teens will wander from stage to stage to hear the music of their favorite bands. Being in such a large, unsupervised environment means that it is likely your teen will be exposed to drug and alcohol usage.

Here are 8 tips to keep your teen safe.

  1. Even if you are in the vicinity, it is important that you maintain communication. You and your teen should establish specific times to communicate by phone or text. Call phone reception at the site is reliable, so there is no reason not to be able to check in periodically.
  2. It’s hot. Sunburn, heat exhaustion, and dehydration frequently occur at Coachella. Make sure your teen has plenty of water, is aware that there are water stations to refill water bottles (although the lines are frequently long) and knows that it is imperative that he or she stay hydrated. Water is also available for sale. Sunscreen is another necessity and it may be prudent to remind your teen to reapply sunscreen every time you speak with him or her. Hand sanitizer is useful as there is a lot of sitting on the dirt and the bathrooms are mostly port-a-potties.
  3. Make sure you have contact information for your teen’s friends, in the event your teen is unreachable. Know where your teen is spending the night.
  4. Make sure your teen has enough money. Food, water and transportation to and from the site can add up quickly.
  5. Remind your teen to take breaks. There are many air cooled tents and some even offer complimentary deodorant and hair supplies.
  6. Discuss with your teen what to do in the event of an emergency. There are many security people at the venue who can assist in the event of an emergency.
  7. Make certain that your teen is aware of the dangers of drugs and alcohol and the added effect of extreme heat or dehydration.
  8. Try to relax. Allowing your teen to attend Coachella is an act of trust and for many teens, a rite of passage.

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