Tips for a Safe Spring Break
We’ve made it through the middle of winter, and spring is just around the corner! With spring comes more outdoor activities – and spring break. Read on for some tips for a safe – and fun! – spring break!
1. Know what to expect
While we seem to be through the worst of this winter’s Covid surge, we aren’t out of the woods yet – and many places still have quarantine and testing requirements for entry. Make sure you research your destination’s vaccine and quarantine requirements well ahead of your departure – especially if traveling internationally. You can also visit the CDC’s travel-health site to find out if you need to be vaccinated (for anything beyond COVID, that is).
Additionally, it is a good idea to research local urgent care and hospital facilities near your destination. If you are traveling domestically, you can also check which local urgent care centers take your insurance. Whether you’re traveling locally or internationally, look into whether travelers insurance is available and what it covers in the event of illness or injury.
2. Use the buddy system
Stay close to your travel companions and be sure you have a way to contact them if you get separated. You are much less likely to be the victim of theft or violence if you are with other people, so do your best to stick together. Keep a close eye on your friend’s physical and mental health; while vacation can be a time of fun and relaxation, you can also be at an increased risk of physical injury or a mental health crisis. If you see any warning signs of a friend experiencing a mental health crisis, the CDC recommends contacting one of these agencies for help.
3. Drink responsibly
Know the laws regarding possession of alcoholic beverages and drugs at your destination. Blood alcohol content (BAC) levels used to determine DUI (Driving Under the Influence) are set at different limits in different places.
Make sure you keep your drink in sight at all times. If you get up from your seat at a restaurant or bar, take your drink with you or be sure you have a trusted companion monitoring your drink.
4. Be safe around water
According to the American Safety Council, 70% of deaths from recreational water activities involve alcohol, so don’t drink and swim. In addition, drowning is one of the leading causes of death among young children, so it’s especially important to keep a close watch on your kids around the water. Ideally, swim only where there is a lifeguard present and heed warning signs about wildlife, rip tides, and algae blooms.
Children should always use USCG-approved flotation devices around bodies of water. Even children who are strong swimmers can struggle in the ocean (or even in a crowded pool). Remember that drowning is a silent event – oftentimes children drown within reach of an adult. If you see a child silently struggling to stay above the water, they may be drowning. It’s essential to be sure an adult is always designated to watch children in and around water.
5. Use common sense
Always walk, talk, sit, and act with confidence. Avoid looking like you’re lost. Criminals often target people who look lost or vulnerable. Beware of pickpockets – robbery is one of the most common crimes committed against people on vacation.
Additionally, if you are traveling internationally, be wary of the local water. In many places, it is not safe to drink water from the tap. Generally it is best to stick to bottled water unless you are absolutely sure that the local tap water is clean and safe.
With these safety tips in mind, stay safe, and enjoy your sun-filled spring break….with sunscreen, of course!