Public Safety Awareness

Spring Break Safety Tips

friends on the beach for spring break

We don’t all get to take part spring break, but for the students who do it is understandably a time worth celebrating. Once midterm exams have wrapped up and there is a temporary break from hard work and study, it’s a time to let loose and have fun before school resumes and lessons begin again. It seems only natural to want to make the most of the short freedom, but there are many risks and dangers that come along with the frivolities of spring break. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind so you can get back to studying in one piece.

Traveling Safely

  • On long road trips, it’s a good idea to have more than one licensed driver in each vehicle in order to take turns driving. Occupants in the passenger seat should make an effort to stay alert so the driver is never the only one awake in a car full of sleeping passengers. Two alert drivers are better than one.
  • Always remember to bring a map. Most people rely on the navigation feature in their cell phones but you can enter into an area where there is no signal and easily get lost. You could also download one of several apps available that do not require an internet connection or GPS for their maps to appear.
  • If you decide to travel by taxi, it’s better to call one then hail one. Only use approved taxi services and ignore people who approach you on the street offering a ride. Keep your belongings close to you while in the taxi, so you will be sure to not leave anything behind, and leave cab fare on the seat and exit a taxi immediately if you ever feel unsafe. It is completely within your right to do so.
  • Never get into a vehicle with someone you suspect is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, even if he or she is your friend. There will always be a safer alternative.

Celebrating Safely

  • Drinking and driving is extremely dangerous and punishable by law. Always plan a safe and sober mode of transportation before drinking and keep an eye out for your friends as well. If you are spring breaking with a small group of friends where you don’t know anyone, take turns being the designated driver each night. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
  • The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that elevates the blood alcohol levels to 0.08 g/dL. Drinking at this rate can dangerously impair your ability to function on a normal level and put your safety and health at risk. This typically occurs after 4 drinks for women and 5 drinks for men during a 2 hour time period.
  • Speaking of an impaired ability to function on a normal level, the most common side effects of alcohol abuse are: reduced inhibition, slurred speech, motor impairment, confusion, and memory loss. Before you decide to imbibe, you should be aware of the consequences of being in a strange place, surrounded by strangers and decide to drink responsibly. One rule of thumb to stick by is come with your friends, leave with your friends. As long as everyone sticks together and looks out for one another you can ensure there are no accidents of any kind.

Beach and Poolside Safety

  • If you are spending all day under the sun be sure to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. If you start feeling faint or light headed, get under some shade and drink more water immediately.
  • Make sure you use waterproof sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Don’t forget your ears, nose, face, feet, and shoulders and remember you can burn even when it’s cloudy outside.
  • Never go into the ocean when there is no lifeguard on duty and always have a buddy with you. Even strong swimmers can get caught in an undertow. If you should get caught in a rip current, never attempt to swim against it. You will only deplete precious energy. Instead, swim parallel to the beach until the rip current eventually passes.
  • Know the flag system for water safety.
  • Never dive head first into water if you are not sure how deep it is or if it’s a shallow pool. Diving into shallow waters can result in serious head and neck injuries.

Remember these simple safety tips during spring break and have a fun and relaxing time that is free of accidents or injuries!

 

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