Press releases

Don’t let festival weather leave you crying in the rain

Music festivals are fast becoming one of the highlights of the British summer. Whether it’s squelching around in mud at a national festival or dancing in the blistering heat at a local one, the excitement and atmosphere of the weekend can be a wonderful experience.

Festivals are particularly popular amongst teenagers, and the ‘typical’ British weather can bring a heat wave one day and a thunderstorm the next, so it’s important that festival-goers are properly prepared.

Teenagers will be keen to pack light. They’ve packed their wellies and waterproofs for that sudden rain fall, and shorts and T-shirt for the hot spell they’re expecting. But don’t let them forget their sun hat and sun screen – essential to avoid sun burn, heatstroke or heat exhaustion, which can overshadow their festival fun. Encouraging them to follow a few simple tips will help make their weekend more memorable for the right reasons.

Dr Marcus Bicknell, GP and clinical lead at NHS Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group and keen festival-goer himself said: “Many of us underestimate the strength of the British sun, especially when we are chilling with friends at a festival. But it doesn't take much sun to get badly burned or have heatstroke when you're outside all day, so it’s vital to protect yourself and of course the risks are greater if you are intoxicated!"

These simple tips can help to keep festival goers safe in the sun:

  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat. This will help protect their neck and ears, as well as cover their back and shoulders to avoid sunburn.
  • Use a high factor sunscreen. Sun protection factor (SPF) 50 gives the best protection and should be applied regularly throughout the day. Sponge sore skin from minor sunburn with cool water and apply after sun or calamine lotion to help soothe the affected area.
  • Find shade under a tree, it is important to find some shade during the hottest part of the day to help keep cool and prevent heat stroke.
  • Drink plenty of cold drinks and foods that have high water content throughout the day to prevent dehydration.
  • Pack a first aid kit in case of a minor accident or ailment. For tips on what to include, visit www.nhs.uk or talk to your local pharmacist.

Dr Bicknell added: “If someone you know has heatstroke you should try to cool them down as quickly as possible. Give them water to drink and cover them with a damp towel or sheet. Symptoms of heatstroke include headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, muscle weakness or cramps, tiredness and high temperature. It’s best to contact the first aiders at the festival too, as the person with heat stroke may need medical help.”

For more information and sun safety tips visit www.nhs.uk.

Published: 27 July 2015