For lots of people, attending various local or regional musical festivals in the summer is somewhat of a yearly tradition. The festivals enable people to reconnect with friends and have fun listening to great live music.
Over the years, I have worked in first-aid tents at multiple music festivals and attended to festival-goers with a range of medical issues. So, here are some of my top tips for staying safe at summer festivals:
Summer events can often be sweltering and dehydration can set in unexpectedly. Bringing a refillable H2O bottle with you is the key to ensuring you have a great experience. The majority of festivals in the US have free water filling stations. Sip water early and frequently.
When your attention is centered on festival activities, it can be easy to forget to stop for water until you start to feel thirsty. Thirst, however, is a sign you are already experiencing dehydration, which is known to lower your energy and mood. Check your urine. If you are well-hydrated, you should be going to the bathroom approximately every two hours, and your urine should be a pale yellow color. If you notice your urine looking more like apple juice, it’s time to start drinking more water.
Protect Your Skin
Ultraviolet radiation from the sun can reach high levels during the summer months, so applying sunscreen is essential. It can take less than 12 minutes of exposure to midday sun to suffer from sunburn. Opt for a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen that has a 30+ SPF. Be sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours or more frequently if you start sweating a lot. Look for shady areas.
Unfortunately, many summer musical festival venues do not have many shady or covered spots. You can still try your best to find shade and stay out of direct sunlight when the sun’s rays are at their most powerful—between 10:00 and 16:00. Doing so will help you to protect your skin from a serious sunburn.
Wear sunglasses and a big hat. Oversized floppy hats are an ideal choice, as they help to shield your face and eyes from the sun. Wear sunglasses with UVB and UVA protection to protect your eyes. Even if the sun doesn’t interfere with your sight, it’s important to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays.
Control Your Campfire
Festival grounds often provide fire pits and rings. If not, be sure to choose a setting at least 16 feet from shrubs, branches, tent walls, and other flammable objects. Keep a bucket, shovel, and source of water nearby in case you need to extinguish a fire that starts to get out of control.
Don’t burn any pressurized containers, aerosol cans, aluminum cans or glass bottles. When it’s time to put out the fire, use lots of water to drown all embers (not just the ones still glowing).
Be Responsible With Alcohol and Medications
Remember to bring all your medications with you. It is not uncommon for festival attendees to forget their vital prescription medications. If you don’t have access to your medications, even if you don’t get ill, you might not be able to enjoy the festival to its fullest.
Avoid mixing your medications with alcohol. Some medications are made less effective or sometimes even dangerous when mixed with alcohol. Mixing alcohol with certain medications can cause headaches, vomiting, nausea, loss of coordination or fainting—all things you probably don’t want to have to endure at a festival.
Use caution with sleeping medication and over-the-counter pain pills. Mixing alcohol with ibuprofen can lead to stomach bleeding, nausea, and even liver damage. When sleeping medications are mixed with alcohol, serious side effects include memory problems, difficulty breathing and increased drowsiness.
If you follow these tips you will stay safe and fully enjoy the festival experience. Get yourself some fun glow toys from Premier Glow and dance and be merry!