Staying safe during spring break

It’s probably safe to say that college students nationwide collectively exhale a sigh of relief during the first few weeks of March when the time for spring break arrives. Whether you’re taking a vacation or planning to stay in sunny South Florida, it’s important to take precautions to get through Spring break without incident. Here are a few things to keep in mind to make sure that your break is as enjoyable as possible.

Forget the water play

As Sharks, it’s a well-known fact that we love to make puns about everything ocean-related, but spring break is not the time to be swept away. Even if you believe yourself to be a strong swimmer, you should not disregard warning signs put in place for your protection. According to, rip currents — a flow of water that moves in the offshore direction — don’t tend to pull people underwater, but they can drag you out to sea much faster than you can swim. It was for reasons like this why a flag system has been created:

  • Double Red – Danger! Water Closed to Public
  • Single Red – High Hazard, High Surf and/or Strong Currents
  • Yellow – Medium Hazard, Moderate Surf and/or Currents
  • Green – Low Hazard, Calm Conditions, Exercise Caution
  • Purple – Dangerous Marine Life — Usually Jellyfish

Still, an absence of flags does not guarantee that the waters are absolutely safe to swim in. Beach goers should always swim with caution.

Additionally, though it is quite common to watch movies with people who drink lounging in hot tubs, according to Everyday Health, alcohol can dilate blood vessels and dangerously lower blood pressure. These effects can be felt much stronger when sitting in a hot tub.

Drink responsibly

According to the CDC, unintentional injuries like car crashes, falls, burns and alcohol poisoning are most commonly associated with binge drinking. Know your limits and avoid drinking past them. It is always a good idea to have one member of your group be the designated driver to and from your destination. Also, remember to keep an eye on your drink at all times, and don’t accept ones offered to you which you have not seen opened or poured by a clerk.

Plan your trip thoroughly

Yes, spontaneity can be the spice of life, but let’s be honest, too much spice can leave you burning without reprieve. If you’ve decided to take a last minute trip, at least be sure to do a little research on the location, customs, transportation options and emergency numbers. Never feel embarrassed to ask for help, and trust your instincts whenever you feel unsafe.

Further, CBS News suggests that travelers copy important information. Keep these stored in a hotel safe in the event that your necessary documents are lost or stolen.

Another tip that CBS News shared was to avoid staying on the first floor, since it is statistically the bigger targets for thieves.

Don’t share everything

According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest Network, sharing too much information about your location on social media sites can endanger your safety. Sure, it might be nice to let all of your friends back home know that you’re having a great time in Cancun, but everyone doesn’t have to know what hotel you’re staying in, the room’s layout or anything else that might point toward your exact location. Also, avoid name-dropping your room number and hotel information while partying.

Be good to your body

Dehydration and sunburn can happen quickly, especially if you’re out and about at the beach drinking. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going into direct sunlight, careful not to forget areas like the back of your neck, ears, face and feet. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, people should also reapply sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or sweating.

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