Tips to help you stay healthy at this year’s music festivals

If coverage of the Glastonbury or Latitude festivals has prompted you to book a ticket for one of the multitude of other music festivals on offer this summer, you might want to read this helpful advice.

Dr Monica Nuvoloni, Care UK’s regional medical director, said: “Festivals are great fun and increasingly attended by people of all ages. Everyone wants to have fun and, with a bit of planning, everyone can. But people should think about the fact that a lack of planning now can lead to medical problems in the future and a miserable time away.”

Dr Nuvoloni’s top tips

  • Be safe in the sun: wearing high factor sunscreen and a hat are musts. Heat exhaustion and heatstrokes can be very serious and may need medical attention. Symptoms can include headache, dizziness, nausea, muscle cramps, fast breathing or pulse, a feverish temperature or intense thirst. Also, many people do not realise that sun damage can re-emerge 10 or 20 years later as skin cancer, so slap on the lotion regularly and make sure you apply it on any exposed skin, including ears and bald spots.
  • Think hydration: This is especially important in hot weather when dehydration can set in before you realise it. Take a reusable water bottle to fill up from the drinking water taps on site and try to avoid drinking alcohol to excess as this will make any dehydration significantly worse.
  • Appropriate clothing: People don’t always check the weather forecast and setting out on a warm summer’s day does not guarantee that the next three days will remain the same. Pack something waterproof and some warm clothing as sunny hot days often mean chilly nights.
  • Be kind to your feet: Wellies or sturdy boots are a must. Thanks to the great British summer, fields are often wet and muddy. Moving between stages and your tent, you can walk surprisingly long distances, especially at bigger festivals. Don’t forget to bring footwear that is comfortable and, just in case of blisters, don’t forget to pack some plasters.
  • Be kind to your ears: We all go for the music, but prolonged exposure to high volume noise can cause hearing damage, especially in little ones, so headphones/earplugs for children can be a good idea.

Dr Nuvoloni added: “Festival goers should also think about safe sex and pack some condoms in their bags if they think they might need them. The one souvenir you don’t want from your festival experience is a nasty sexually transmitted infection. Also avoid too much alcohol and illegal drugs, as these can lead to bad decisions, health problems and even a criminal record.”

Dr Nuvoloni’s list of things not to leave home without:

  • Your medical information such as medical alert bracelets and cards and any prescription medication you require. Take just the amount of medication you need in a labelled box and check the festival website for their medicines policy as some have quite strict rules about what you can take in.
  • An anti-diarrhoea medication and oral rehydration powders. Upset stomachs are horrible at the best of times and no one wants to experience them while facing queues for the portable toilets.
  • An insect repellent to fend off the midges, especially festivals with water nearby.
  • Wet wipes are indispensable and often the closest thing you may get to having a wash. Alcohol gel for hands is a great option, especially when the portable toilets are out of soap.
  • A torch is very useful for when you are walking back to your tent in the dark and may save you from trip, slips and sprains.