Festivals are becoming increasingly popular, with more families than ever donning their wellies and hoping for a little bit of music and fun. However, it pays to be prepared. Here are my top 10 festival health tips.
1. Take your medicine
If you are on medication, even for something like hayfever, make sure you take your medicine with you. It is worth remembering that some medications need to be kept cool and refrigerated and you might need to plan ahead for this. Some festivals may have provisions for this so it’s always worth contacting the organisers.
2. Get your first aid kit on
Do take a medical kit with essentials such as remedies for headaches, tooth ache, minor cuts, burns or bruises, bites and sunburn. Don’t forget sun cream and insect repellent either.
3. Know the health drill
It is always worth checking what the health and medical facilities are likely to be at your festival. Many of them have on-site facilities with paramedics and doctors around.
4. Safety first
Did you know camping gas accidents are one of the most common cause of serious burns? So do think about your home-from-home environment and potential dangers you may not have considered.
5. No goes
If you have an infectious disease, think about whether you should go as this could spread quickly. At the moment measles is on the rise in England and Wales so if you develop a rash with a fever in the four days before, stay at home. The same is true if you have an upset stomach the day before – it’s probably the last place you would want to be in any case! Women in late pregnancy should also think twice before attending as it can be hard to get in and out of the festival ground quickly if there’s a problem.
6. Getting dirty
Festivals can get pretty unsanitary but do try to keep as clean as you can in the circumstances. Wet wipes and anti-bacterial gels are your best friend as you don’t want to miss out on the fun by getting sick.
7. Night owls
If you’re lucky, you’ll get good weather but no matter how hot it is in the day, it will cool down at night, so you do need to pack more than shorts and shades. Waterproofs will keep you both dry and warm.
8. Sex, drugs and rock and roll
They have long been associated with each other, so if you’re a parent have a frank chat with offspring who are going to festivals about the dangers of drugs and the importance of practising safe sex. And remember to practice what you preach if you’re the one going!
9. Keep the noise down
If you spend too long in front of the loudspeakers you could damage your hearing. Wear ear-plugs if you plan to be at the front all the time.
10. Water, water, water everywhere
Staying hydrated is key at festivals, particularly if you’re on the go for long periods, drinking alcohol or in the heat. As I wrote in my article for the Independent, make sure you drink loads of water. Most festivals have free turnpikes and you’ll enjoy your festival so much more.