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Tips + Advice: Staying safe during Summer

Summer goes with two other Ss: sunshine (or maybe not, thanks to the great British weather!) and socializing. And that means another two Ss become important: staying safe. If you are unsure how to go about this, or even want to check your understanding, take a look at this advice complied specially for Youth TV by drugs education charity the DSM Foundation.

  • Make sure someone sensible (a parent or older sibling?) knows where you are, who you are with, and when you expect to be back. Be honest – if you were on the other side of this, you’d want accurate information.

  • Plan how you are getting home and have a back-up strategy in case plan A doesn’t come off.

  • Know your stuff, whether that is alcohol units and limits, the laws relating to alcohol and drugs, risk factors, harm reduction measures… what would you say to someone who seemed to be getting into something that they didn’t fully understand but could have negative outcomes?

  • Don’t do anything you don’t want to do – give yourself time to think about what feels right for you, rather than being swept along by others.

  • Stick with your friends and look out for each other – unlike with strangers, you’ll be able to spot the early signs of something not being right.

  • Be aware of the signs that things are going wrong (difficulty breathing, choking, seizures, unconsciousness all point to a medical emergency; someone who is hallucinating, aggressive, depressed, confused or has lost their sense of coordination could be a danger to themselves or someone else) and what to do, such as putting someone in the recovery position or calling 999.

  • If you don’t feel safe, get safe – agree a seemingly mundane code word or phrase (eg. “Are we going to the cinema tomorrow?”) with your friends which you all understand means you leave together as a group, no questions asked.

Mobile phones are brilliant, and that includes helping people staying safe. Here are some tips on how to maximize its potential:

  • A dead battery is dangerous – go out with a fully charged phone and have a powerbank to hand just in case.

  • Populate the emergency contact details (in phone settings) so if something happens to you, your phone doesn’t have to be unlocked to know who to call – a name and number is all that is needed.

  • Use location services, and put an app on your phone like What3Words for even more precision.

  • Install a first aid app such as St John Ambulance – hopefully you’ll never need it, but if you do, it’ll be invaluable.

  • Consider agreeing a code with a trusted adult (similar to the escape plan with friends already described) such as a particular emoji that you can send if you feel uncomfortable – they can then call or message you, which gives you an excuse to leave without losing face.

Look out for yourselves and each other so you all have a good time and get home safely!



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