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How to Stay Healthy at Outdoor Festivals

As summer approaches, music lovers everywhere start making plans to attend favorite festivals. From Bonnaroo to Hangout Fest, Burning Man, Lollapalooza, and many more… each festival has its own unique culture and vibe. While outdoor festivals can be a great way to meet new people and have a fun time, they also carry certain health risks. Considering health factors when planning for a festival helps ensure you’ll have a great experience.

Protect Yourself from the Sun

Long, sunny days are part of what makes summer festival season so fun. However, it is important to protect your skin from the sun to avoid burns, sun poisoning and more serious conditions. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes harmful changes in skin cells, increasing your risk for skin cancer. Wearing a hat is a great way to block the UV rays from reaching your face in the first place — plus, a great hat is often considered a must for any fashionable festival ensemble.. Additionally, it is helpful to bring plenty of sunscreen to apply to any area exposed to the light. Grab twice as much sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher) as you think you’ll need so you have enough for your friends, too. Stash in a handy cross-body bag to keep it with you on the go.

Stay Hydrated

Sunburns aren’t the only hazard of staying out in the sun too long. Long, hot days mean it is especially important to stay well hydrated. Carry a reusable water bottle with you to make sure you always have enough and refill it when you come across water stations available at many festivals.. Keep in mind that caffeinated or alcoholic beverages actually dehydrate you. If you do indulge, make sure to follow each alcoholic beverage with water to help keep you as hydrated as possible.

Be vigilant about the potential for heat stroke, which can be very serious if not treated properly. Headache, flushed skin, increased breathing rate, racing heart, vomiting or excessive sweating are classic symptoms of heat stroke. If you exhibit any of these symptoms, get out of the sun immediately and drink a beverage with plenty of electrolytes. Excessive nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or severe confusion could be signs of more serious heat exhaustion, warranting prompt medical attention.

Watch Out for Crime

Violent crime at festivals is rare, but petty theft and other criminal incidents do occur. Keep your valuables out of sight at all times. It is also smart to split your cash and credit cards into two stashes, each stored in a different place.

Also remember basic personal safety tips. Never leave your drink unattended, even for a minute. Once the sun goes down, always walk with another friend and stick to well lit areas to minimize the potential of being the victim of a crime.

And if you do find yourself injured or ill while at the festival, check to see if there is a CareSpot location near you. Our medical professionals can get you back to the mosh pit in no time.