Around 40,000 schoolies flock to the Gold Coast each year for a well-earned celebration of 13 years of study, and thousands more head to places like Byron Bay, Bali and even Thailand.
A 2012 study revealed that around three-quarters of those involved in the festivities got drunk, and a quarter of all schoolies were injured as a result of their drinking. Between stats like these and some of the horrifying stories we hear in the media each summer break, it’s little wonder parents get nervous whenever our de facto rite-of-passage into adulthood comes around. Fortunately, though, there’s light at the end of the bender: most kids have a great time, stay safe, and create memories to last a lifetime. Like the success or failure of any event, the proof is in the planning.
We’ve put together a few ways you can help keep your kids safe when they’re off the leash and independent, often for one of the first times in their lives. Planning is paramount, but it doesn’t have to be stressful. Check out our checklist to ensure you’re up with the play.
Does your schoolie have accommodation sorted? If so, make sure you know:
- The address they’ll be staying at, and the phone number (mobile phones can get lost!)
- The people they’ll be staying with
- The part of town their accommodation is in, and what amenities are nearby
- Is the area safe, or is it a known crime hotspot?
Odds are you’ll know many of the other students your schoolie is bunking with, but even if you do there are some basic questions you can ask.
- In case there’s an emergency, what’s a friend’s mobile phone number?
- How many people are they going with, and how well do they know them?
- Ask for a friend’s parent’s phone number in case there’s a need to get in contact
- Is the whole group staying in the same place, and are they likely to all do the same activities?
– Grog Watch