Danger Zone

Flirting with the Danger Zone

Peer pressure from friends and the media can steer your tween to the danger zone. Your child’s safety is still a big part of your job, but they can start taking some responsibility for their own well-being too.

As a tween, they still need to:

  • Ride in the back seat and always wear a seatbelt while in a vehicle. Your child should use a belt-positioning booster seat until they are 4 feet 9 inches (150 cm) tall.
  • Wear a helmet while riding a bike, skateboard or scooter.
  • Limit exposure to secondhand smoke, which increases the risk of heart and lung disease, and can make asthma worse.

Tweens and young teenagers also begin experimenting with adult things like tobacco, alcohol and other substances. Here are some interesting facts about substance use:

  • 90% of smokers began before the age 19.
  • One in nine adolescents used alcohol— that also means that most teens, eight in nine, did not use alcohol.

The good news is, your child still cares what you think and what you say! Despite the increased frequency of slammed doors and eye rolls, your opinion matters.

You still have a chance to set them on the right path, but the time to do it is NOW. Read the guides in this section to find ways to curb usage at a young age.


Funding for this guide was made possible (in part) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Cooperative Agreement number 1H23IP000931-01. The content in this toolkit does not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.