Spring break starts today for many Iowa students and they’re getting warnings from health officials to beware of everything from the sun to S-T-Ds. Tanya Villhauer, a health educator at the University of Iowa, says some students manage to forget they’ve been inside for several months and have no base tan at all.Villhauer says if you don’t wear a strong sunscreen, you’re going to get badly burned.
Villhauer says the students have to remember the sun will be reflecting off the water, the sand and even off the snow if you’re on the slopes. She says students who are traveling abroad also need to remember they’re not in Iowa anymore, or even in the U.S., and there are criminals out there waiting to take advantage of those who they see as rich Americans on vacation.
She says students need to use the buddy system, stay with people they know and stay in high-traffic areas, not places where tourists don’t congregate. When it comes to partying, Villhauer says some students think this is their opportunity to go wild, experimenting with alcohol, drugs and sex. She says to try and maintain a little common sense and you won’t end up with a sexually-transmitted disease.
Villhauer says "Using your gut instincts and not just going off with someone you’ve just met. Of course, alcohol comes into play because the judgment is impaired and your defenses go down and your inhibitions are increased and you do whatever seems right at the time and then the next day you wake up and find things happened that maybe you didn’t want to happen." She says the student health clinic in Iowa City is usually swamped with students the week -after- spring break with young people requesting S-T-D tests.