Doctor DIY: Guide to Outdoor Festivals
When the weather gets warm, the festivals get rolling, but what does that combination of sun and fun do to your body? The truth is festivals are a great way to spend some time enjoying the warm weather as long as you take some precautions to stay healthy. Planning for a festival includes keeping everyone safe and injury free. Consider these quick and easy DIY tips to avoid problems and make the most out of summer festivals.
Do Some Homework
When planning for a festival, take a minute to locate the closest urgent care center and find out if the festival has a first aid station, too. This prepares you just in case you do require any treatment.
If you have a medical condition, make sure you have any medication you might need with you at all times, such as a rescue inhaler if you have asthma, and ensure at least one person with you knows about your condition.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Between dancing, walking and eating, dehydration is all too common at festivals. The trick to avoiding it is to not let yourself get thirsty in the first place. Thirst is a sign that dehydration has already begun and by the time you get dizzy and weak, the problem is acute. Everyone in the group should carry a refillable water bottle with them and refill at every opportunity. If there is alcohol involved, be sure to follow every drink with at least one bottle of water. Don’t let the weather fool you, either. You need to drink water even if it’s not hot outside.
Guard Against the Heat
Chances are it will be hot, though. Drink plenty of nonalcoholic fluids — preferably water — whether you are active, just hanging out, and even when not in the heat. Stay away from sugary drinks or alcohol if it is extremely hot outside. You should also avoid very cold drinks as they can cause stomach cramps in extreme heat.
Use plenty of sunscreen during the day. Bring the bottle with you so you can reapply it every few hours. Be sure to wear a hat to guard your scalp and face against sunburn, too. Stay in the shade when possible, and duck into an air-conditioned building when you can to cool off.
There is no reason you have to pass on all the tasty food offered at festivals, just eat wisely. If with a group, try sharing treats — that way everyone gets a taste. Avoid filling up on sugary or greasy foods. Focus more on lean protein and healthy snacks like fruit or fresh vegetables. Carry nutrition bars with you to keep your energy level up and help you avoid junk food.
Select light-colored clothing and cover your skin as much as possible. This is an easy way to protect you from sunburn and insect bites. Avoid cotton clothes because cotton absorbs and holds moisture which may cause chafing, instead wear a drifit fabric — similar to bathing suit material. Also, don’t forget to protect your head and your ears! Bring a fun hat to protect you from the sun and keep you cool. And if loud music is on the agenda, consider some moldable earplugs to protect your hearing.
It just takes a little common sense and planning to survive the festival season without an incident, so think smart and have fun this summer!