Spring Break Safety

Spring Break Safety

TEEN SAFETY - Spring Break Safety Steps

March and April are big months for Spring Break. As kids get older, they will have more freedom on Spring Break trips, even when they're travelling with parents or other trusted adults. Sadly, the news is filled with stories of Spring Break violence. A proactive conversation with your kids can make all the difference in terms of their safety during Spring Break. Here are a few talking points and tips to help your teens stay safer while vacationing:

1. Assume that there are criminals present wherever there are young people congregating. Criminals are experts at seizing opportunities and teens on Spring Break are vulnerable, especially if there aren't watchful adult eyes. Remind your teens that even if someone seems nice, they should never leave the group to go anywhere with a person they've just met.

2. Geo-tracking is your friend! If your teen is with a group, have them set up their phones so they can always track each other. This provides a safety net in case anyone gets into trouble. Include any adult chaperones in the tracking group as well.

3. Set check-in times. If the group is going in different directions (some to the beach, some shopping, etc.) they should arrange some check in times where they are texting each other to ensure that everyone is okay. You may also want to set up check in times with your teen, especially if they are traveling with another family or a group of friends.

4. Traffickers love Spring Break. Unfortunately, traffickers are experts and seizing opportunities to find new victims, and Spring Break gatherings are high on the list. Talk with your teen about how to spot a trafficker. This will be someone, often with an entourage, who is flashing money, buying drinks for people, presenting themselves as if they are rich/famous/important. Often a trafficker will approach a potential victim with flattery (you're so beautiful, has anyone ever told you you could be a model?) or with an offer of employment (I'm producing a music video and looking for extras). They'll have a business card, a legitimate looking website, and people vouching for them…they are very good at what they do. Remind your teens that if they are under 18, there are a lot of regulations about modeling and acting, and legitimate talent scouts would not be offering them a job at a club or a party.

5. Lock doors! In addition to personal safety, teens need to be mindful of the safety of their belongings. Sometimes groups of teens will all stay at the same condo complex or hotel, and it feels "safe" because they're surrounded by other teens, but it's a mistake to leave doors propped or unlocked.

6. Safety in numbers: This is a simple way to reduce risk. Remind your teens that they cut their risk of an attack in half just by being with one other person. It's so important to stay in groups, to stay around people they know and trust. This will keep them much safer.

7. International Travel: If your child will be traveling to another country for Spring Break, make sure to read all of the U.S. State Department travel advisories for that country, and search for any media stories related to travelers encountering danger. Mexico is a hot spot for teen travel during Spring Break, and it's also a place that can be very dangerous for American tourists. Make sure your child knows and understands the risks to their safety before they leave the country.

Bottom line: Spring Break should be fun and memorable, and taking a few simple safety steps can help ensure that it is.

Revved Up Kids has trained tens of thousands of children to recognize dangerous people, avoid unsafe situations, and escape attackers. Our training programs are available for boys and girls in K-12th grade, for parents, and for youth serving organizations. Contact us to discuss protecting the children you love from predators and violence, 678.526.3335.

Questions? Contact us today!