Press Release

Department of Health and Children advocates safe fun in the sun

Remember your holiday for all the right reasons

Mr. Micheál Martin, TD, Minister for Health and Children and the Health Promotion Unit of the Department of Health and Children today (16 July, 2001) launched a special travel wallet providing holiday advice. The emphasis is on the safe consumption of alcohol and in line with the Unit´s Alcohol Awareness Campaign, carries the slogan Less is More – It´s your choice.

The wallet, to be issued to holidaymakers going abroad, advises travellers to remember their holiday for the right reasons. It recommends:

  • Eat before you drink
  • Keep your drink within sight at all times
  • Pace yourself
  • Make sure you and your friends get home safely
  • Alcohol dehydrates. Have water or a mineral between drinks
  • Try not to mix or double your drinks
  • Carry a condom if you are sexually active

The Minister said recently that the goal of the alcohol awareness campaign was to reduce alcohol related harm such as accidents, injuries and violence. In keeping with this, the travel initiative targets young people who may be at greater risk on holiday because they are relaxed and are more exposed to drinking alcohol without the usual responsibilities of day to day living.

In recent years the number of people going abroad on holidays has increased substantially and unfortunately there has been a corresponding increase in the level of alcohol related harm they are experiencing. For many young people the idea of a holiday in the sun is synonymous with getting drunk and while most will return without too many negative experiences, an increasing number have reasons to regret their actions. Sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancies, incidents of personal violence are all becoming more common and all too often are alcohol related. The purpose of this initiative is to remind people that there are simple steps they can take to lessen their chances of having a bad experience.