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Spring Break Safety

Spring break can be great fun if you follow these safety tips...

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Drinking

Florida State Law requires that you must be 21 to purchase, consume, or possess alcoholic beverages.

Bring your ID — the clubs do check ID's... forget yours and you can forget drinking. Some of the clubs let those 18 and older in, but tag or stamp them as 18-20 who can't drink.

Be aware of alcohol poisoning. According to a University of Wisconsin study, 75 percent of college males and 43.6 percent of females reported being intoxicated on a daily basis during spring break. Nearly half of the males and more than 40 percent of the females also reported being drunk to the point of vomiting or passing out at least once during break. This is the kind of binge drinking that is the major cause in alcohol poisoning. It also increases the risk of car accidents and arrests for such violations as drunk driving, public intoxication and property destruction.

Don't drink, but if you are of legal drinking age and you do decide to drink:

  • Don't drink too much!
  • Decide in advance what and how much you will drink.
  • Plan on how you will refuse once you reach your limit.
  • Know what will happen if you violate state or local laws.
  • DO NOT DRIVE. Use a designated driver or choose public transportation.

Obeying these rules will keep you from becoming a guest at the county jail and missing a night of fun with your friends.

Should a member of your group become intoxicated, never leave them alone. If they pass out, make sure they sleep on their side to prevent choking, and if their level of consciousness is too low to get a response, call 911.

Hangover Cures - No charge... no guarantees.

Hotel/Motel

Generally, common sense rules here:

  • Lock your door.
  • Look through the peephole before answering the door. Don't open it for a stranger. If someone claims to be staff, call the front desk for verification.
  • Don't leave valuables in your hotel or motel room.
  • Use the buddy system when leaving the room for any reason.
  • Do not overcrowd elevators - this often causes a malfunction which will cause you to be stuck with really bad elevator music!
  • DO NOT CLIMB on balconies or sit on balcony rails. This can be fatal!

Sex & Violence

According to the same University of Wisconsin study, few students who had sex during spring break used condoms, even if a condom was available, and among women, those with higher alcohol consumption were more likely to have been the victim of a sexual assault.

  • Don't drink too much - drinking makes it easier for a person to become either the victim or the perpetrator of a sexual assault.
  • Don't allow yourself to be taken to an isolated location.
  • Don't walk alone. Use the buddy system.
  • Never leave with someone you just met. Attend large parties with friend and plan to leave with the same friends.
  • Watch out for "rape" drugs. Don't leave your drink unattended.
  • Don't accept open drinks from strangers.

Sun, Sand & Surf

That new bathing suit has you bearing more skin than ever and it is easy to spend hours partying with friends on the warm sand. Before it's too late, you need to know that too much sun can not only damage and dry our skin over time, today it can cause a nasty sunburn and even death — not to mention skin cancer years from now. Prevention is the key here, so follow these tips:

  • Avoid sun exposure during the hottest hours of the sun's rays.
  • Avoid over exposure - limit your time in the sun.
  • You CAN get a sunburn even if it is cloudy.
  • Apply sunscreen with a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of at least 15, paying special attention to the face, nose, ears and shoulders.
  • Re-apply sunscreen after swimming and sweating.
  • Wear a hat.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV (Ultraviolet) Protection.
  • Drink plenty of water, non-carbonated, and non-alcoholic drinks, even if you do not feel thirsty.
  • Be aware of Heat Stress Symptoms.

Although the beach is a wonderful experience, there are times and conditions that are a safety concern.

  • Stay within the designated swimming area and ideally within the visibility of a lifeguard.
  • Never swim alone.
  • Know the flag warning system:
    -Red Flag: Stay OUT of the water - strong undertow and riptides.
    -Yellow Flag: Use CAUTION in the water - some undertow and riptides possible.
    -Blue Flag: Calm water.
  • Be aware of rip currents. If you should get caught in a current, don't try to swim against it. Swim parallel to shore until clear of the current.
  • Use common sense - if the waves look dangerous... they probably are.
  • Jellyfish cause intense burning. Lifeguards know the first aid procedure for reducing the pain.
  • Seek shelter in case of storm. Get out of the water. Get off the beach in case of lightning. > Lightning Quiz
  • Watch out for traffic - some beaches allow cars. If you're driving... obey the speed limit.

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