Vacation Tips-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vacation Tips

Looking forward to a family vacation?  Great, but plan ahead, to reduce the chance of something happening that could take away from your enjoyment.  If your plans include physical activities, assess your experience level and stay within your limitations.  Warm-up and stretch before activity, take the proper gear, and anticipate potential hazards.

Alcohol and recreation are a dangerous mixture.  Many mistakenly believe that alcohol is a stimulant.  In reality it is a depressant, impairing judgment and coordination.  It often results in risk-taking behavior and is a major cause of accidents.

Boaters should be familiar with all equipment, and understand boating safety.  Life vests may not look cool, but they save lives.  Make sure to take extra precautions if there are non-swimmers along. 

Fatigue, accompanied by decreased awareness and reflexes, is often a factor in vehicle accidents.  Fatigue may result from over exertion, long periods of driving, unusual sleep patterns or time zone changes.  Ignored fatigue can kill.

Every year, many end up in hospitals with burns from overexposure to the sun.  Sunburn is not only painful, it is also a known cause of cancer, so take it easy the first few times you are outside. 

Camping is fun but it does have dangers.  Using lighter fluid to start the campfire can result in painful burns, and a sharp ax can inflict serious injury. Know the difference between poisonous and non-poisonous snakes, and make sure your tent is far enough from the fire

Following these tips will help you have a safe, enjoyable vacation.

By: James Gindlesperger, jg57@andrew.cmu.edu