Glastonbury has been going for 48 years and is back this year following a fallow year last year. Whether you are a festival first-timer or a seasoned Glastonbury veteran, make sure you follow our top tips on how to stay healthy during festival season.
A major part of festival fun is the back to nature approach to living, so do expect basic living facilities. Facilities at festivals are confined to portaloos, long drops and communal showers; a perfect breeding ground for bugs. Dodge the diarrhoea by following some simple rules. Wash your hands where possible, especially before eating and always after the toilet. If running water isn’t available, use hand wipes or hand sanitiser. Pack your own pocket-size alcohol hand gel for when you are on the go.
Don’t be fooled into thinking vaccinations are only for those far-flung destinations. Glastonbury is the largest greenfield festival in the world and over the course of a week, home to over 175,000 people. Crowded spaces and shared living areas increase the risk of infectious diseases spreading. Many of which are entirely vaccine preventable. Measles and mumps cases have been on the rise in the UK, so festival goers should check they have received at least 2 doses of the MMR vaccination to ensure they are protected. If there is any doubt you can get immunity tested to put your mind at ease. Young adults and children can also be particularly vulnerable to meningitis, so if you are in this group, make sure that you have also received the recommended Meningitis ACWY vaccination.
It is estimated that an average festival goer burns around 9,000 calories and walks over 15 miles. Make sure you fuel your festival by eating plenty, especially if you are drinking alcohol. Keep hydrated and ensure you drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration, especially on those (potentially) hot days.
Glastonbury has seen it all: heatwaves, rain, floods, cloudless skies. The Great British weather is never predictable and exposure to extreme weather can cause anything from hypothermia to heat stroke. Be prepared for all eventualities. Take warm waterproof clothes that will dry quickly in case of wet weather. Pack cool, light coloured clothing to help you keep cool in the sun. Pack a hat and some good suncream and make sure you wear it! Shady areas are few and far between if you are centre stage for the day, and without sun protection you could end up with sunburn, or worse, heat stroke.
Don’t run the risk of sexually transmitted infections if you decide to go beyond social intercourse. The best way to prevent infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea is to use condoms. Some STI’s can take several weeks to present themselves, and in some cases are asymptomatic (display no symptoms at all). It is quick and easy to get checked for STI’s, so if you have any concerns when the festival is over, make sure you get tested.
^ Lines are open 9:00-17:30, Monday-Friday.
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