NEWARK—Spring break is a great time for the family to get away from the cold, dark days of winter and have some fun in the sun. This year you can keep your family safe and make spring break memorable by having fun and while staying healthy and well prepared.
“Spring Break safety is usually the last thing people think about while planning their getaway, but it may be the most important aspect of the trip,” says Michael Rosen, M.D., Pediatric Director of the Emergency Department at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey.
The following are vacation recommendations from The Emergency Department at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
• Limit alcohol.
Remember that alcohol can impair your judgment and actions. Alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes kill someone every 31 minutes and nonfatally injure someone every two minutes. Don’t drink and drive. There are plenty of non-alcoholic alternatives.
• Be active.
If you have been sitting most of the year working at the computer, take this opportunity to do fun activities like walking, dancing, playing volleyball, and swimming. Avoid injury by starting any new activity slowly. Include activities that raise your breathing and heart rates and that strengthen your muscles.
• Plan a successful trip.
If you are going on a trip, be prepared. Are vaccinations required? Are there special food, destination, or other things you need to consider ahead of time? If you are taking medications, do you have enough for the trip? Know what’s happening en route or at your travel destination.
• Watch your step.
There may be temptations on your break that involve different or high-risk activity. Think twice before putting yourself at risk for injury. Use appropriate safety gear, such as seat belts, life vests, or knee pads. Remember that unintentional injuries kill more Americans in their first three decades of life than any other cause of death.
• Be aware of your surroundings.
Check out your surroundings before you go out. Have a well-lit route back to your hotel. Avoid wearing headphones as you walk so that you can be aware of what is going on around you, especially if you are walking alone. Be alert at all times.
• Protect yourself from the sun.
Excessive and unprotected sun exposure can result in premature aging, changes in skin texture, and skin cancer. Always wear sunscreen with at least SPF 15. For eye protection, wear wraparound sunglasses that provide 100 percent UV ray protection.
• Eat healthy.
Having fun takes energy and fuel. Be sure to eat a variety of foods, including plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grain products. Also include low-fat dairy products, lean meats, poultry, fish, and legumes. Drink lots of water and go easy on the salt, sugar, alcohol, and saturated fat.
• Make a plan.
Establish a meeting spot in the event that you get separated. Before you go out, identify a safe way to return to your hotel.
• Have a contact.
Make sure that someone at home has all the information about your trip, including hotel name and phone number, the members of your trip, your flight plans and times you should arrive to your destination and return from your vacation. If any of this information changes, make sure to notify your contact person.
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