How to avoid some of the most common health hazards associated with music festivals

Music festivals are now part and parcel of the great British summer time. Indeed, there are now so many music festivals staged throughout the country (there were nearly 700 in 2013) that more people than ever are deciding to strap on some Wellies, brave the mud, and bounce up and down in a field with thousands of like-minded fans.

EntertainmentUnfortunately, it is often the case that having so many excited people all partying in one place increases festival-goers’ chances of encountering a number of associated health-hazards. Happily, those who are willing to apply a little bit of common sense to their surroundings – and keep the tips listed here in mind – will stand a much better chance of remembering their festival experience for all the right reasons.

Alcohol

It is fair to say that most festival-goers will treat themselves to a good few shandies during their time at festival. However, while chilling out with a few drinks over a prolonged period of time is normally pretty harmless, ‘Friday night power drinking’ i.e. knocking back anything and everything in the quickest possible time, is not a smart approach to adopt at a festival. Party animals who go down this route will not only get dehydrated so quickly that they will invariably pass out and miss all the fun, they will also wake up with a God-awful hangover that will more than likely prevent them from enjoying much the following day as well. It may sound a little trite but drinking responsibly is definitely the way to go at a festival.

Water

The combination of heat, dancing and alcohol can quickly dehydrate even the most fit individuals so keeping a bottle of water to hand is something that all festival-goers should get into the habit of doing. Many festivals these days offer complimentary supplies of fresh water so there really is no excuse for not topping up. Needless to say, those that are planning to consume more alcohol than they normally would should be more diligent than most about keeping a full bottle of water to sip on!

Personal hygiene

Everybody knows that washing hands before eating and after going to the toilet reduces the risk of picking up or spreading germs that cause sickness and diarrhea. Unfortunately, this is not something that is always so easy to do at busy festivals. The best way to avoid being affected by this potential health hazard is to keep a small stash of wet wipes and a little bottle of antibacterial hand gel handy as this will enable festival-goers to keep their hands hygienically clean at all times.

Unprotected sex

Although ‘hooking up’ is a large part of the appeal of going to a festival for many, having unprotected sex is not a smart thing to do as it increases the chances of catching sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like gonorrhoea, syphilis or chlamydia. While emergency contraception and sexual health advice is frequently available from onsite medics these days, it is far better to keep some condoms close by – and to use them – instead.

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