Spring break safety

Sarah Fifield, Managing editor

Oh yes, one of the highly anticipated aspects of second semester is less than a month away. Get excited, folks, because spring break is twinkling on the horizon. As much as students and teachers alike bathe in the glory of having two weeks sans schooling, it seems to be the students who wind up in a jam. Especially during their senior year, students are gallivanting across the country and even taking their trips across the border. Yet they are blind to the risks that may come along with their travels.

Sunny symptoms
Those golden-yellow sun rays that leave a warm blanket covering your skin may not seem to be harmful at first glance. Yet that pinkish coloring you leave your sandy destination with could be a warning. Most commonly, long sun exposure can lead to what people find to be a typical, sunny day occurrence: sunburn. Yes, it does seem to be that the red tint gained from a tropical vacation is nothing to worry about, but this could only be one of numerous burns. By not protecting yourself from the sun’s UV rays, you are making yourself prone to multiple things, such as skin thickening, discoloration, wrinkles and even worse, cancer. No, chances are that one simple burn will lay these burdens upon you, but over time and repeated exposure to the harmful rays, your chances rise. So make your life easy and slather on a layer of sunscreen, be it SPF 15 of SPF 50, protect yourself for today and for the future.Other risks from sun exposure include heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which are both serious illnesses and include symptoms such as headaches, dizziness and nausea.

Booze n’ bust
Of course, with the beach days and the party nights, spring break tends to have a smorgasbord of alcoholic drinks, especially when one partakes in a Mexican getaway. Yes, I can understand the temptations to toss back a few cold ones when they are right at your disposal, but think first. For starters, you are in a foreign territory, oanylikely at least in a different state. If you are even slightly intoxicated, your senses are skewed. So, what if, just what if somebody attempts to steal your wallet or attack you, will you be able to fight back? Also, there is the fact that it is illegal. Teens have been kidnapped while on spring break trips, and not all return. Prior to their kidnapping, chances are these teens were making foolish mistakes. Drinking could put you into an unsafe situation. Oh, and did I mention it is illegal Very, very illegal.

Buddy up
The simple way to stay safe on a spring break getaway: the buddy system. When gallivanting around a place where, to quote Dorothy, you’re ‘not in Kansas anymore,’ having a friend by your side will drastically reduce your risk of being placed in harms way. When groups venture out, they are less likely to be seen as a potential target because it would be more difficult to deal with multiple people – so the bigger the group, the safer you are. Also, using common sense can help to keep out of sticky situations. Being attached at the hip, so to speak, with a trip partner is not only safer but will also make getting lost in the local shopping scene more fun. So grab your best pal and link arms for the duration of your vacay.

*Information collected from safespringbreak.org