Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Land to Water--Spring Break Safety Tips

Although you want to have a fun spring break, it is also important to keep safety in mind, so that you can come back to finish off the semester strong! 

  • On Land

1. Always rotate drivers so that one person isn't exhausted and accidently falls asleep at the wheel. Make it fun by letting the driver be in charge of music.

2. If more than 2 people are traveling make it a rule that that the person also sitting shotgun has to stay awake to keep the driver company. Perhaps they can take turns choosing the music.
Two awake people is better than just one!

3. Do your research and go old school by printing off directions. Even though most people rely on their smartphone to give them directions, it is always smart to be double prepared just in case your phone dies or the location you are driving doesn't have good cell reception.

4. When stopping to eat or take a rest break always make sure your valuables (wallet, GPS, expensive jewelry, etc.) that you leave behind in your car is hidden from plain view. This will reduce the risk of your vehicle getting broke into.

5. Never drive intoxicated or ride with someone you suspect is intoxicated. ( Even if they say they are ok to drive!). There are always a safer alternative. Call an Uber or taxi. In fact, if you do not have the money to call a cab, you can call for a police escort ( DO NOT call 911 for this, call the local police station). They would rather you call them than to be a danger to others!

6. Set limits, and instructions for yourself before going out and stick to them. For example: I am only going to have 3 drinks tonight, afterwards I will just drink soda or water. I won't go anywhere alone or go to an after party at a strangers house.

7. Never take a drink from a stranger or open container sources such as punch bowls. For one, there is no clear way of knowing the alcohol content and there could be a risk that it is drugged. If you or your friend feel dizzy, have slurred speech, is blacking/passing out--go to a safe place to help calm the person down. If symptoms are extreme, take them to the emergency room.

8. Don't make drinking alcohol a competition or try to keep up with your friends. Everyone's tolerance of alcohol will be different depending on how frequent they drink, their weight, and how much they have eaten. With saying that, always eat before you drink!

9. Do not carry large amounts of cash with you at a time. This way you will not be more at risk for getting robbed, and if you are it won't be as bad.

10. Know the local equivalent to 911 to the country you are visiting.
For example:
Central America and Caribbean:
Guatemala – 120*
Barbados – 511*
Jamaica – 110*
Nicaragua – 118*
Honduras – 199*

For more emergency numbers visit:

  • In the Water

1. Sun can maximize the effects of alcohol so keep this in mind when you party poolside or at the beach. If you start to feel bad, find a shade or cool place to lay down.

2. While out in the sun swimming or playing sports, it is easy to forget to drink water. However, this is the fastest way to become dehydrated. Make sure you take plenty rest breaks to stay hydrated.

3. It's a cloudy day, and you are thinking this is the perfect time to spend all day at the beach. Keep in mind that you can still burn when it is cloudy. Always use sun lotion!

4. Know the flag system for water safety:
  • Red Flag: Stay out of the water because of strong undertow and riptides.
  • Yellow Flag: Use CAUTION in the water. There are some undertow and riptides possible.
  • Blue Flag: Calm water. Swim safely.
5. Always swim with a buddy. Even the most experienced swimmer can get caught in an undertow. If you are caught in a rip current, don’t bother swimming against it. Instead, swim parallel to shore until the rip passes.

6. It is advised not to drink while in a hot tub. Alcohol can dilate blood vessels and lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. The effects of alcohol are felt sooner and stronger in a hot tub. It can lead to unconsciousness and drowning.

7. In any natural body of water, be aware that you can’t always tell how deep the water is. Don’t dive if you don’t know for sure how deep the water is. Diving in too shallow of waters can lead to serious accidents.

For additional safety tips check out this website:

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