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While your child is abroad  

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To ensure your child's safety, you may wish to consider the following key issues before they go away.

Bear in mind that the legal drinking age in other countries can differ from the UK. In some countries the legal drinking age may be higher or lower than the UK or drinking may be illegal altogether. However, if you think that your child will drink alcohol while abroad, there are a number of additional precautions they should take:

* be aware of local attitudes to alcohol
* keep an eye on drinks (drugs can be put into ignored drinks)
* avoid alcohol while swimming
* don't try to take alcohol into countries where it is prohibited
* public drunkenness is frowned upon wherever you are


Before going abroad, you should try to make sure your child understands the importance of these issues:

* penalties for disobeying drug laws are often severe and include massive fines and long prison sentences in grim conditions, and some countries still have the death penalty
* they should never carry packages through Customs for other people
* advise your child not to sit in someone else's vehicle when going through Customs or crossing a border - always get out and walk
* try and make sure your child always packs their own luggage and doesn't leave it unattended
* if your child is driving advise them not to lend their vehicle to anyone else
* they should never give medicines prescribed for them by a doctor to anyone else


You should ensure that your child is adequately informed about the dangers of unprotected sex. Not only can this reduce the chance of unwanted pregnancy, it can also significantly reduce the chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS.

Travellers overseas should also be aware that cultural attitudes towards relationships differ in other countries. Acceptable behaviour in the UK can, in some societies, cause deep offence or misunderstanding.


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