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Spring break can be both safe and fun

 

When it comes to spring break, students are excited and parents are terrified.  High School and College students see spring break as a rite of passage and an opportunity to take a break from school and have fun.  Parents see it as a sex-filled, binge-drinking, non-stop party that poses serious risks to the safety of all young adults there.

 

Parents throughout American are regularly asking what they can do to keep their child safe on spring break.  70% have refused to pay for their child’s spring break vacation in an attempt to get them to stay home. While that sometimes works, many students believe that spring break is worth paying for themselves, and parents need a backup plan.  Instead of focusing on convincing your kids to skip spring break (unlikely) focus on making the trip as safe as possible for them. The best way to help decrease the risks of serious dangers is to foster open and honest communication with your child. You are not going to be there to enforce the rules, so instead of laying down the law, talk to you child about the risks and what you are afraid of.  Being honest with encourage your child to reach out to you for help in the event something does go wrong, instead of relying on themselves or their friends which could pose increase danger.  When talking with your child before their spring break trip, but sure to discuss this common fears that parents have.

 

These are the most common worries reported by parents of spring break aged young adult children:

-Risks caused by drinking alcohol including alcohol poisoning and death (>80%)
-Underage drinking (88%)
-Drunk driving or riding with an intoxicated driver (70%)
-Unprotected sex resulting in unplanned pregnancies and/or STDs (71%)

 

Parents largely blame the spring marketing targeted towards underage drinkers and showing spring break as a time of wild sex and binge drinking for the dangers present.  While the MTV idealized culture certainly plays a role, your child has their own decision making capabilities and making the right decisions can be the difference between safety and danger while on spring break. 

 

If you are parent, talk to your kids about reasons to avoid drunk driving like DUIs or alcohol related accident and promote alternative ways home like public transportation, walking, or planning a sober ride. Talk to them about the risks of binge drinking and the prevalence of alcohol poisoning caused by it. If they do plan to drink, ask them to stick to one drink per hour so they can pace themselves and monitor how intoxicated they are.  Encourage safe sex and talk with them about the risks of unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases.  Finally, if they are underage encourage them to study and follow he local laws.  If they do plan to consume alcohol, discourage binge drinking which is especially common with people under age 21, and prompt them to pace themselves since they may not be as experienced with drinking.  Spring break can be both safe and fun as long as you talk to your children about steps to reduce the dangerous risks present.

 

Story by Mississippi Lawyer Blog


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City: Minnesota