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Summer Vacation Safety

May 2007 article

The school year is almost over, which means that summer vacation is just a few weeks away. For teens, summertime is often split between time home alone, at a job, out with friends, or traveling. It’s important for teens to know that even though their summer schedules may allow for more freedom than their academic schedules, they still need to follow rules and understand that negative choices will continue to bring negative consequences. Share these tips with teens to help them stay safe during their summertime ventures.

Staying safe when home alone

  • Remember not to do anything while home alone that you aren’t allowed to do when your parents are there.
  • If you use the Internet, remember to engage in friendly and legal behavior. Be sure not to cyberbully or download pirated music/videos/software. Do not give any personal information (such as your address or phone number) to anyone you meet online. Never let people you meet online know that you are home alone.
  • Don’t let anyone in your home without a parent’s permission. If something goes wrong while you’re home alone, call a trusted adult or law enforcement officer to help you.

Staying safe at work

  • Be sure not to work alone, especially after hours. Create a buddy system for walking to parking lots or public transportation.
  • Keep your purse, wallet, keys, or other valuables with you at all times or locked in a closet, drawer, or locker. Mark other personal items with your name or initials.
  • Know the exit routes and evacuation plans for your building.

Staying safe with friends

  • Using alcohol or drugs is illegal and dangerous no matter where you are or who you are with. Using tobacco is dangerous, too. Don’t allow yourself to give in to peer pressure or make poor choices.
  • Pay attention to the road when driving with friends. Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death for teens.
  • Before you leave your house, tell your parent or caregiver where you are going, who you are going to be with, and when you’ll return.

Staying safe when traveling

  • Carry traveler’s checks instead of cash, and record information (serial numbers and item name) of any valuables you take on your vacation (such as cameras or mp3 players). Take a copy of the information with you, and leave one with a family member or trusted adult.
  • Learn about your vacation destination before you arrive; know what sites you want to visit and how to get there using a safe, well-traveled route.
  • Be sure to lock your room at your lodging place, and insist that everyone carry his or her key when outside the room. Remember not to give out your room number or invite strangers into your room.
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