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05 July 2013 09:38
Millions of Brits have begun jetting off for their summer holidays
British travellers heading abroad are being advised to take extra care on balconies after a spate of accidents.
The Government and travel association ABTA have launched a campaign after the death of one Briton and the injuries of three others in recent weeks. In total there have been seven reported cases this year, and last year there were 14.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) says many of the incidents involved young people drinking alcohol.
Keeping an eye on your alcohol intake and ensuring you have adequate
travel insurance are obviously top of the list when spending time relaxing on hotel balconies this summer. Problems can arise when travellers are suffering sunstroke and the associated dizziness.
The new campaign is aimed at highlighting the need for vigilance, after accidents in the popular destinations of Sunny Beach in Bulgaria, and Majorca in Spain. The message is particularly aimed at young people.
"We see too many people permanently injured or worse because they've tried to climb over or dive off their hotel balcony," said Nikki White, ABTA's Head of Destinations and Sustainability.
"We want people to enjoy their holidays but would advise them to think about the ramifications of their behaviour abroad. Incidents such as these have devastating consequences for holidaymakers and for their families," she continued.
White said the campaign aims to make people "stop and think" about how they use their balconies during overseas holidays. She said she hopes the efforts can "prevent more of these tragic and avoidable incidents".
The advice from the FCO and ABTA is to consider risk and recognise that alcohol can impair judgment, with this often compounded by weather factors and dehydration. They also advise all travellers to purchase comprehensive travel insurance in order to be prepared in case something does go wrong.
Figures released this month show travellers going to Spain are most likely to need consular assistance, with 1,105 of those cases being hospitalisations.
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