Don't Take a Break from Safety During Spring Break

It's almost spring, which means one thing for college students: A week off from classes to rest and maybe travel and have a little fun – but it doesn't mean a break from safety or common sense.

The last thing most of these students want to think about during spring break is safety. Unfortunately, the combination of youth, freedom and alcohol can have devastating consequences for young adults who just want to have a good time. Spring break revelries may expose students to risks of theft, sexual assaults, alcohol poisoning and more.

Marcia Peot, a full-time police officer and chief safety officer at StreetSafe, offers the following safety tips for vacation-bound college students:

· Don’t let your guard down. Being on vacation is not an excuse to go wild, do something out of character or dive into unsafe situations.
· Research your destination in advance, especially if it’s a foreign country. Learn about any dangerous areas you should avoid, familiarize yourself with local laws and customs and know where to go and what to do in case of an emergency.
· Stay in groups or use the buddy system. You are more of a target when you are by yourself.
· Be cautious with strangers. Do not accept a ride or go off somewhere alone with a person you don’t know.
· Use alcohol responsibly. Don't drink excessively. When you are intoxicated, your physical reflexes, awareness of your surroundings and ability to make decisions become impaired, making you an easy target. Never leave your drink unattended and do not accept beverages from anyone other than the bartender or waiter.
· The beaten path is the better path. Stick to populated and well-lit areas, don’t take short cuts and familiarize yourself with the area before heading out.
· Be smart about hotel safety. Lock your hotel room at all times. Do not advertise your room number, open the door for anyone you are not expecting or bring strangers back to your room.

College life can be stressful, but there's no need to add to that stress by putting yourself in danger during spring break. Have fun, be safe, and come home refreshed and ready to hit the books.

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