Dr Luisa Dillner's guide to . . . how to survive a music festival

What's the main risk?

Nothing glamorous. Dehydration is common on hot days thanks to no shade, dancing, alcohol, queues for drinks and not enough drinking-water taps. So, carry a bottle of water, wear a hat to avoid sunstroke and apply at least factor-15 sunscreen regularly. Other risks include blisters, bruises and sprains. If you sprain your ankle, keep it raised or get it strapped. Keep blisters clean and put a dry plaster on them. Do not puncture them.

What about stomach bugs?

The toilets are usually dirty and full of germs that can cause diarrhoea and vomiting. Wash your hands as much as possible, because most people won't. Take anti-bacterial gel and wipes.

Should I take drugs?

Festivals offer the opportunity to take all sorts of things, including legal highs, in amounts you may not be used to. But having an out-of-body experience is not a good idea when there are crowds, nowhere quiet to go and no one to look after you. Panic attacks are therefore quite common. Find the medical centres and arrange for someone to look after you if you need it. Drink sensibly – and drink water between alcoholic drinks to stop dehydration.

Should I have sex?

Only if you want to and with a condom. Some medical centres may also have access to emergency contraception.

Will my ears be all right?

Being next to a loudspeaker can cause hearing loss or ringing in the ears. Take breaks, don't stand too close to speakers and wear ear plugs.

Anything else?

If you take any medicines make sure you have enough. Bring plasters, antiseptic cream and mild painkillers. For health advice call NHS Direct on: 0845 46 47, or visit nhsdirect.nhs.uk. If you are going abroad, make sure you have adequate health insurance.

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.


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