5 tips for a safe and fun spring break

Whether you’re staying close to campus or traveling for spring break, here are a few tips to make it a safe and memorable time off from school.

1.  Sun safety
Sunburns don’t just happen at the beach. The sun’s UV rays are stronger at higher elevations. Whether hiking mountains or hitting the beach, always use sunscreen and lip balm with at least SPF 15 and reapply often. Protect your eyes with sunglasses and drink extra water. Sun exposure and higher altitudes can dehydrate your body more quickly.

2.  On the road
Driving while tired can have similar effects on your body to driving while drunk. Trade drivers often, or plan rest breaks along your trip. Distracted driving is dangerous and, in some states, illegal. Twenty-four states have hand-held cell phone use bans, and 48 states ban text messaging for drivers. Put your phone away until your shift behind the wheel is over, or give it to someone else who can change the music and respond to texts for you.

3.  Safer drinking
If you are of age and choose to drink, eat before and while you are out since an empty stomach can intensify the effects of alcohol. High-protein foods slow the absorption of alcohol. Alternate between alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks throughout the night to stay hydrated and pace yourself. Don’t drink anything you didn’t see mixed/poured or that has been left alone.

4.  Personal safety
Before going out, make a plan for getting home safely (e.g., designated driver or ride-share service). Will everyone go back together, or are some staying with a friend? If plans change throughout the night, check in with your group to let them know your whereabouts. If you haven’t already, memorize a friend or family member’s contact information in case your phone dies.

5.  Condom sense
Condoms and dental dams help prevent sexually transmitted infections. Have them handy even if you don’t plan on being sexually active – a friend might need it! Free condoms are available at the front desk of the University Health Center.

Remember, sexual contact without consent is sexual assault. Consent should be enthusiastic and freely given without pressure or being under the influence.

If you want to get ahead of the game, schedule an STI test at the University Health Center. Doctor-ordered chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV testing are covered services through your student fees.

Call 402.472.5000 to schedule an appointment, or visit our webpage to learn more about the sexual and reproductive health services we offer to Huskers.