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Last year when my daughter headed to the beach with a carload of kids for her first spring break trip I was a nervous wreck. My big concern was of course her safety.
The SafteyMom Alison Rhodes has come up with some great tips for parents and will be my guest tomorrow on What Now? With Laurie Giles at 4:00 pm EST  


Be Prepared Before You Leave
Passports are now required for The Bahamas and Mexico and it will take between four to six weeks to get one so plan ahead.  Some cell phones don't work internationally so check with your service provider prior to leaving.  If yours doesn't work you can rent one.  Regardless, make sure family members have a phone number for the hotel that you will be staying at.  Check with your medical insurance provider prior to leaving to see what is covered in the event of an emergency.  Many foreign hospitals require cash payment for services, and a medical evacuation to the U.S. costs around $50,000.  If you're not covered look online for trip insurance that you can purchase.  

Know Your Limit
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.  

Stick With Your Friends
Go out with your friends and leave with your friends. Let your friends know if you intend to leave with anyone and make your intentions known to them prior to the trip. Your judgment can be compromised once you've been drinking and you need your girlfriends to keep you safe. Also, if you notice one of your girlfriends drinking too much or appearing to be confused, get her back to the hotel.
Know When to say "No!" but if it's a "Yes" Practice Safe Sex
While MTV would make it seem that everyone's having sex during Spring Break, that's not necessarily the case. Decide on your boundaries and stick with them. Discuss this with your girlfriends even before the trip because they can help you if you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation or get too drunk to make appropriate decisions. If you do meet someone, explain upfront what you are and aren't comfortable doing. Unfortunately sexual assault is all too common on Spring Break trips and young girls, who may not have enough experience yet in moderating their drinking can be vulnerable. In the same Wisconsin study, girls with higher alcohol consumption were more likely to have been the victim of sexual assault. Date rape drugs are another concern so be sure never to put your drink down or take a drink from a guy if you haven't seen it poured.
If, however, you do decide to have sex, play it safe.  Take matters into your own hands and bring condoms with you, don't rely on the guy.  Remember this isn't just about preventing pregnancy but also STD's.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 out of 4 college students has an STD.  

Be Careful of Too Much Fun In the Sun...or the Hot Tub!
After being inside all winter, the sun can be a shock to your skin – especially if you're in a place close to the equator.  Be sure to use plenty of sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, limit your time in the sun and keep yourself well hydrated to reduce the risk of sun poisoning.  Keeping hydrated means non-alcoholic drinks however as alcohol can maximize the effects of alcohol and lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke, leading to hallucinations or a coma.  Hot tubs are another place to be careful.  The heat from the tub intensifies the effects of alcohol consumption and can lead to unconsciousness and drowning.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings
When booking a hotel room request a room above the first floor but below the sixth floor. The first floor is an easy target for robbery but above the sixth makes it more difficult to escape in the event of a fire and more dangerous with kids hanging off the balconies. When going out at night be mindful of pickpockets and be aware of who is walking near you. When standing at an ATM do a quick scan of anyone nearby and if you feel uncomfortable go to a different ATM.
For more information please join me What Now? Tomorrow on at 4:00 pm.

Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Marlene McCray wrote Mar 15, 2010
    • Thanks for this information because parents need to be aware of these things when their son or daughter go away to college. Just last month the mechanic who fixes my car was given a horrible news about his son. He was found dead in his dorm and its suspected that binge drinking and aspiration is the cause although they are awaiting final toxicology and  autopsy results. He was only 20. It saddens me to see him go through what no parent ever should! My heart goes out to him. So moms and dad please its so important to share this with your college kids and fast!!

      Marlene McCray, MS
      Personal Development Trainer & Compass Representative
      [Link Removed]

      Mmccray, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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