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Kansas State University
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Source: Sarah Tedford, 785-532-6541, stedford@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-6415, kmayes@k-state.edu

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

K-STATE EXPERT SAYS PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY THE BEST WEAPON AGAINST SPRING BREAK DANGERS

MANHATTAN -- For college students, spring break can be a time to unwind and let go. But doing so in an unsafe manner can spoil a fun vacation time, according to a Kansas State University expert.

Sarah Tedford, coordinator of K-State's Healthy Decisions, a program aimed at improving the overall health and success of K-State students, said a little bit of personal responsibility can go a long way. She offered the following spring break safety tips, which were developed by K-State's counseling services and the Union Program Council:

* Use the buddy system. Stay in a group and keep track of each other. No matter how tempting, don't wander off with someone you just met. Also, don't go jogging, biking or walking alone, and be aware of your safety in unfamiliar places. Stick to well-traveled and well-lit places.

* When it comes to alcohol, be aware of how it affects you. Generally speaking, alcohol can impact one's judgment and mood, and one's attitude and drinking experience also can impact the affect of alcohol on your body. Remember, most assaults are alcohol related. Never drink on an empty stomach or drink when taking any drugs, prescription or otherwise. When consuming alcohol, be sure to also drink plenty of water. Alcohol also makes one more susceptible to sunburn and cold.

* When it comes to sex, always use a condom. Also remember "no" means "no."

* When it comes to travel, be sure to lock your car and hotel room door.

* Make sure to bring your own over-the-counter medications, such as motion sickness medicine, laxatives, antacids, decongestants and antiseptics. Also make sure all your prescription drugs are clearly marked and bring a paper copy of the prescription as a backup.

* When it comes to emergencies, have at least one credit card for unexpected expenses and carry your current health insurance card, immunization record, official emergency contact information and picture identification. These documents should be carried on your person at all times.

* Make sure your cell phone is charged and always with you.