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Health Matters Newsletter

Student Health Center
State University of New York
Fredonia, NY 14063

Location:LoGrasso Hall

Phone: (716) 673-3131

Fax: (716) 673-4722


Office Hours

Academic Year

8:00 am-5:00 pm M-F


8:00 am-4:00 pm M-F


Travel Tips for Students

Be aware that there are lots of people out there who see students on Spring Break as easy targets for theft.   Don't prove them correct.  When traveling , here are some precautions you should always take with your valuables.

1) Take only what you will need.  Clean out your wallet and keep only a small amount of cash, ID, ATM card and credit cards.

2) If traveling abroad, check with the US Department of State for the required visa, ID or passport.

3) ATMs are often the easiest and the cheapest way to get money abroad.  Be sure to carry your card in a safe place.

4) Do not forget a week's worth of any prescription medication.

5) Leave a copy of your itinerary, passport, ID and list of wallet contents with someone you trust back home.

6) Make a list of ID numbers, contact information, travel information (flight and hotel) and credit card numbers and leave it with a trusted friend or relative. Call friends or family members to let them know that you have arrived and returned safely.


That new bathing suit has you bearing more skin than ever and it is easy to spend hours partying with friends on the warm sand.  Before it's too late, you need to know that too much sun can not only damage and dry our skin over time, it can cause a nasty sunburn and possibly lead to skin cancer in your later years.  Prevention is important.   Here are some things that you can do:

Avoid sun exposure during the hottest hours of the sun's rays... Protection from sun exposure is important all year round, not just during the summer months or while at the beach.  The hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. are the most hazardous for UV exposure.    This is just as important on cloudy and hazy days as on bright and sunny ones.  It is important to protect your skin. 

Avoid over exposure - limit your time in the sun .. Ultraviolet (UV) rays are a part of sunlight that is an invisible form of radiation.  UV rays can penetrate and change the structure of skin cells.  Although getting some sun exposure can yield a few positive health benefits, excessive and unprotected exposure to the sun can result in premature aging and undesirable changes in skin texture.

Sun exposure has a cumulative effect over one's lifetime.  It is now thought that many skin cancers actually start from sun exposure or sun tanning in the teenage years.  The dark suntan that you enjoy now can actually contribute to your getting skin cancer in your later  years.

Apply sunscreen with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) .. Sunscreens come in a variety of forms such as lotions, gels, and sprays.  Some are for specific purposes, such as the scalp, sensitive skin, and for use on babies.  But the important take home should be that regardless of the type of sunscreen you choose, be sure that you  use one that blocks both UVA and UVB rays and that it offers at least SPF 15.  Pay special attention to the face, nose, ears and shoulders.  Reapply sunscreen after swimming and sweating.

Wear sunglasses with UV (Ultraviolet) Protection.. Oh, and don't forget your sunglasses.  Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts.  They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure.   The standard sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection.

Drink plenty of fluids.. It is important to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water, non-carbonated and non-alcoholic drinks, even if you do not feel thirsty. 

Not all skin is created equal...Whether individuals burn or tan depends on a number of factors , including their skin type, the time of the year, and the amount of sun exposure they have received recently.  The skin's susceptibility to burning can be classified on a five point scale as outlined in the following descriptions:

Skin Type I - Always burns, never tans, sensitive to sun exposure

Skin Type II - Burns easily, tans minimally

Skin Type III - Burns moderately, tans gradually to light brown

Skin Type IV - Burns minimally, always tans well to moderately brown

Skin Type V - Rarely burns, tans profusely to dark

Skin Type VI - Never burns, deeply pigmented, least sensitive

Though everyone is at risk for damage as a result of excessive sun exposure, people with skin types i and II are a the highest risk.

Spring Break - March 2009

Keeping Safe while on Spring Break

This newsletter is dedicated to an enjoyable and safe Spring Break.  Spring break has always been an exciting time for college students.  It is an opportunity to go to a favorite warm-weather destination , and make an attempt at ignoring the stresses of school and snow.  We would like to provide you with some safety precautions and tips to help you have a fabulous Spring Break.

Alcohol Safety

Beautiful weather, a week off of school, and little responsibility leaves many students engaging in extreme consumption of alcohol in an attempt to make the most out of this relaxing week.  This may sound appealing, but there are many dangers to binge drinking which can turn a much-needed vacation into a scary situation.  Extreme alcohol use can result in impaired decision-making, loss of memory, and alcohol poisoning, among other things.

There are many factors that go into responsible drinking habits, and putting to use these practices can be the difference between an enjoyable spring break and a regrettable spring break.  While on vacation and drinking alcohol, take into account your own weight, height, gender, what you had to eat that day, the alcohol you are drinking, and how fast or slow you are consuming the alcohol. 

If you are going to drink during Spring Break, it is very important that you take precautions.  Drunk college students are seen as a target for both theft and rape.Keeping these factors in mind and drinking responsibly, you will have a more enjoyable vacation as opposed to a visit to a police station or worse, an emergency room. 

Think before you drink

Death: 1,700 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die each year from alcohol-related unintentional injuries, including motor vehicle crashes.

Injury: 599,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 each year are unintentionally injured under the influence of alcohol.

Assault: More then 696,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 each year are assaulted by another student who has been drinking.

Sexual Abuse: More than 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 each year are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.

All drinks are not created equal

Most people don't know what counts as a standard drink, and therefore, don't realize how many standard drinks are in the containers in which these drinks are sold.

For beer, the approximate number of standard drinks in

12 oz can/bottle of beer  = 1 standard drink
16 oz can/bottle of beer = 1.3 standard drinks
22 oz can/bottle of beer  = 2 standard drinks
40 oz can/bottle of beer = 3.3 standard drinks

For malt liquor, the approximate number of standard drinks in

12 oz  malt liquor = 1.5 standard drinks
16 oz  malt liquor = 2 standard drinks
22 oz malt liquor = 2.5 standard drinks
40 oz malt liquor = 4.5 standard drinks

For table wine, the approximate number of standard drinks in

A standard 750 ml (25 oz) bottle of wine = 5 standard drinks

For 80-proof spirits or "hard liquor", the approximate number of standard drinks in

a mixed drink = 1 or more standard drinks
a fifth (25 oz) = 17 standard drinks
a pint (16oz) = 11 standard drinks
1.75 L (59 oz) = 39 standard drinks

Past the point of possible no return......

Excessive drinking can be hazardous to everyone's health!!! Some people laugh at the behavior of others who are drunk.  Some think that it's even funnier when they pass out.  As you are laughing about the drunk who has passed out in the corner, there a couple of things that you should know.

It is common for someone who has indulged in an excessive amount of  alcohol to vomit since the alcohol is an irritant.  Alcohol depresses nerves that control involuntary actions such as breathing and the ability to gag (which prevent choking).  Typically, one of the biggest concerns when someone vomits, and is unable to control their gag reflex to prevent choking, is aspiration of the vomit.  When vomit is aspirated, the lungs are flooded with foul material which blocks the ability for oxygen to get in and out.  If not treated, this could eventually lead to death . If a member of your group become intoxicated, never leave them alone.  If they pass out, make sure they sleep on their side to prevent choking, and if their level of consciousness is too low to get a response, call 911.

Common myths about sobering up include drinking black coffee, taking a cold bath or sleeping it off or walking it off.  These are just myths.  The only thing that reduces the affects of alcohol in your system is TIME. And time is something that you do not have enough of when you are suffering from alcohol poisoning.

Signs of Alcohol Poisoning

-Mental confusion, stupor, coma, or person cannot be roused.
-Slow breathing (fewer than eight breaths per minute).
-Irregular breathing (10 seconds or more between breaths).
-Hypothermia (low body temperature),
bluish skin color, paleness.
Don't be afraid to seek medical help for a friend who has been drinking. In the long run, you could be saving their life.

General Safety

Not only during spring break, but anytime, it is always smart to use the buddy system while out with friends.  The buddy system means that before going out, you will designate which friends will stay together and make sure that no one ends up alone and/or in a compromising situation.

1) Safety in numbers. Go out in groups and make sure that no one is ever left alone or behind.

2) Don't ever leave your drink out of sight. If you take your eyes off of it, discard it.

3) Wear sunscreen

4) Always keep emergency money in a separate place other than your purse or wallet.

5) Only accept drinks from a licensed bartender or drinks that you pour yourself. Do not accept drinks from strangers unless you watch it being poured. You put yourself at risk for receiving an altered beverage if you don't know the source of the drink.

6) Do not travel with illegal substances

7) Avoid casual intimate relationships with someone you just met and make sure that you practice safe sex.

8) Never leave an intoxicated friend.  If a friend is sick, don't leave them alone. If you feel sick, ask someone to look out for you.  If a member of your group passes out, turn them on their side to prevent choking and call 911 immediately.

9) Be careful following people you don't know back to hotel rooms, parties, homes, etc

10) Don't carry a lot of cash. Use credit/debit cards, or traveler's check. If theft occurs, report your card stolen immediately and have it canceled.

Personal Safety

High profile cases such as Natalee Holloway, a high school student who disappeared during her Spring Break trip to Aruba, are uncommon.  However, sexual violence and other violent acts during Spring Break are not.  Use common sense and follow these simple safety tips.

1) Always be aware of your location and how to get back to your hotel.

2) Take only what you absolutely need during the day.  The less baggage, the better.  Store valuable items in hotel safe.  Or don't bring them with you at all.

3) Never share personal information with a stranger, especially hotel information.

4) Never go anywhere alone and always make sure someone knows where you are going.

5) Never take offers for free rides or tours from anyone.

6) Keep money, passport and ID in a pouch that is not easily accessible, such as a neck pouch hanging inside you shirt or a waist belt inside your pants.

7) Be cautious of groups of kids, strangers offering to help with your bags and anyone that inadvertently bumps into you.

8) Keep carry-ons, purse and other baggage near you.  If you set baggage down, place it securely between your legs.

9) Place your purse strap over a shoulder crossing it over your upper torso.  Place wallets in front pockets; they are too easy to steal from back pockets.

10) If you are robbed, don't resist -- give up any money, jewelry, or other valuables.  You can always replace material things.  Call 911 as soon as you can.

Hotel Safety

1) Always keep your door locked whether you are in your room or away from it.

2) Keep track of your hotel key and never lend it to a stranger.

3) Use your peephole before answering the door.

4) Never leave your valuables in sight: lock them in a suitcase or room safe.

5) Never go anywhere alone. If you are in an elevator with strangers, stand next to the alarm.

6) Be aware of the fire escape route.  Know the way out if needed.

7) Don't horseplay or climb on balconies.  Never sit on railings and always keep both feet on the floor at all times.  Falls from balconies, even those on lower floors, can be fatal.


Page modified 12/7/15