Avoiding silent dangers at summer music festivals
Music festivals and concerts are popular destinations for summer fun, but it’s common for fest-goers to end up in the emergency department after experiencing dehydration or intoxication.
Concert safety mostly requires common sense. Here are three tips medical experts recommend to stay safe:
- Stay hydrated. Bring water with you into the crowd or set up specific times to hydrate.
“One of the main concerns when attending a concert is a lack of hydration,” says Dr. Eddie Markul, the emergency medical services director at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “Everyone is stuffed into a crowd, too distracted by the music playing, to think about their body’s needs.”
Dehydration can lead to extreme thirst, dry mouth, headaches and muscle cramps. If the dehydration persists over a long period of time, more severe symptoms such as dizziness, rapid breathing and confusion may arise.
“If the concert permits, wear a water backpack or something similar,” says Dr. Markul. “If they do not allow a personal water bottle, make time to leave the crowd and hydrate in between songs.”
- Limit alcohol intake. Always remain aware of your surroundings and coherent of the crowd. Sweating in the heat and drinking alcohol can also lead to dehydration. Limit the number of alcoholic beverages. For responsible drinking, it is recommended for a woman to consume no more than one to two drinks per day, and for a man, no more than two to three.
“To combat dehydration and limit your alcohol intake, have a glass of water in between every alcoholic drink,” says Dr. Markul.
- Set up a meeting spot. If your group gets separated, having a designated place to meet is a great way to find each other.
“Set up a buddy system with the group so you always have at least one other friend to stick with,” says Dr. Markul. “Also, set up a meeting place for after the concert, in case you get separated. That way at the end of the show, everyone can meet up together safely.”
About the Author
Meghan Robinett, health enews contributor, is a public affairs and marketing intern with Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. She is studying Communication Arts and Digital Media at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. In her free time, she enjoys baking, playing soccer and traveling.