Staying Safe

How to not die on Spring Break

Spring break should be one of the highlights of your school year. It becomes a lot less fun if you wind up in the hospital, though. Luckily, all you have to do is take a few safety precautions, and you’ll be ready to have the time of your life.

On the Beach

  • Don’t get burned. Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and limit your time in direct sun. Tans might be sexy, but a painful sunburn can ruin your whole week (and cause premature wrinkles and cancer). Besides, you’ll be spending enough time in the sun that you’ll get a tan even with sunscreen on. The sun is strongest between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., so consider finding a shady place to eat your lunch.
  • Know the signs of heat stroke. Symptoms include fatigue, confusion, dizziness, nausea, lack of sweat and increased heartrate and breathing. If anyone in your group is displaying the symptoms of heat stroke, immediately seek medical attention.
  • Stay away from wildlife. If you’re stung by a jellyfish, talk to a lifeguard about what to do. Don’t just start peeing on it because you saw someone do that on TV. That’s gross.
  • Always swim with a buddy. Beware of riptides or undertows in the water. If you get caught in one, don’t fight against it. Instead, swim parallel to the beach until you get free.
  • Don’t go in the water after drinking. Every year, a surprisingly high number of college students drown because they tried to swim while drunk.
  • In the case of a storm, get off the beach. If you stay out in the open, you’ll be a magnet for lightning.

In the Hotel

  • Lock your door. It’s sad to say, but there are some thieves out there who specifically target drunken students. Keep the door locked, even when you’re in the room.
  • Don’t leave valuables in your room. Do you really trust the maid to not go through your stuff?
  • Don’t climb on your balcony. Yeah, it’ll seem like a really fun thing to do when you’re drunk. The fun tends to end abruptly when you fall and die, though.

Drinking

  • Know your limits. Getting alcohol poisoning is a good way to ruin your Spring Break vacation.
  • Don’t drink and drive. Seriously, are there really people who are still dumb enough to do this?
  • Drink water. Time spent lying on a hot beach dehydrates you. So does alcohol. Put these two factors together and you’re in for the hangover to end all hangovers. Water is your best friend.

Having Sex

  • Use protection. The only thing worse than an unplanned pregnancy in college is an unplanned pregnancy with a partner whose name you don’t even remember because you were completely trashed when the baby was conceived. Use a condom.
  • Keep a close eye on your drink. Don’t give anyone the chance to slip in a date rape drug. Never accept a drink from a stranger unless you can ensure that no one has touched it but the bartender.
  • Stick with your friends. Never leave the bar with someone you just met. If you want to hook up with someone, let your friends know where you’ll be.
  • Don’t be a moron. Seriously, always use a condom.
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