March is a much anticipated month in Maryland, when many of us start shedding our winter layers in excited preparation for the coming spring. In addition to extra clothes, however, some folks also shed their common sense.
There is such thing as having too much fun, and a few times illustrate that better than the feverish first days of spring. Spring Break, which typically falls in March or April, can be a dangerous period, particularly for teens and college kids who slip away from home for a week’s worth of debauchery in some bikini-friendly locale. Here are some risks to keep in mind before you and your loved ones begin having fun in the sun.
Booze: Alcohol flows like water during Spring Break, and its teens and 20-somethings who are most vulnerable to its potential ill effects. According to the Journal of American College Health, college-age males report consuming a whopping 18 drinks per day during Spring Break, while females report having 10 drinks per day.
Injuries: Physical injuries are natural consequences of drinking too much alcohol, whether caused by auto accidents or other mishaps, they land many a person in the emergency room during Spring Break.
Sexual Predators: Date rape drugs are easily slipped into drinks during crowded, loud Spring Break parties, and even predators who don’t rely on chemicals are on the prowl, counting on the abundance of alcohol to render their victims less guarded and more vulnerable.
Water and Food Borne Illness: The water and street food in some popular Spring Break destinations, such as Mexico, can cause potentially serious illness in travelers. Food poisoning can result in dangerous dehydration, and good medical care may be hard to obtain while away from home.
Wild Rides: As the weather arms up, amusement parks come to life. Sadly, the people who enjoy them the most, kids, are also the most vulnerable to ride-related injuries. According to Clinical Pediatrics, 20 kids per day visit emergency rooms due to amusement park ride injuries in the summer months.
Sunburn and Heatstroke: The warm temperatures at March vacation destinations make outdoor fun irresistible. Since many people have been out of the sun for the last several months, they’re more vulnerable to sunburn. Heatstroke is also a risk and, of course, alcohol is dehydrating so it exacerbates heat-related problems.
How is a fun-loving, sun-starved person to stay safe during Spring Break and through the subsequently sunny months?
Most of the safety tips are common sense:
- Don’t drink in excess.
- Don’t drink and drive.
- Be aware of possible predators and travel in groups.
- Consume plenty of water, bottled if you’re out of the country.
- Only enjoy rides that you’re big enough and tall enough for, and follow all the safety instructions when you board them.
- Wear sunscreen and a hat.
One major step to take before embarking on any Spring Break fun is to make sure you have a health insurance plan in place that will cover you or your family members in the event of any sort of injury or illness, just in case you do end up having a bit too much fun.
Call or contact Consolidated today with any questions about your health policy.