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30 July 2015
Music festivals are fast becoming a highlight 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 among teenagers, and as a parent, you know that the ‘typical’ British weather can bring a heat wave one day and a thunderstorm the next, so it’s important that your teenager is properly prepared.
Your teenager will be keen to pack light. They’ve packed wellies and waterproofs for that sudden rain fall. Shorts and t-shirt for the hot spell they’re expecting. But don’t let them forget their sun hat and sunscreen - essential to avoid sun burn, heatstroke or heat exhaustion which can overshadow their festival fun. Encouraging them to follow a few simple tipswill also make their weekend more memorable for the right reasons.
Dr Judy Baxter, Clinical Director for Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG) and a local GP said: “Everyone underestimate the strength of the British sun, and this is a serious concern when young people are busy with friends at a festival. But it doesn't take much sun to get severely burned or have heatstroke when you're outside all day, so it’s vital to protect yourself.”
If you are concerned that someone 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, tirednessand high temperature. If you are at a festival, contact the first aid team asthe person with heat stroke may need medical help.”
These simple tips can help to keep people safe in the sun:
Wear a wide-brimmed hat. This will help protect the neck and ears
Cover the back and shoulders to avoid sunburn.
Using a high factor sunscreen. It’s important that they use a high protection sunscreen if they are outside all day. Sun protection factor [SPF] 50 gives the best protection and should be applied regularly throughout the day. If someone has minor sunburn, sponge sore skin with cool water and apply soothing after sun or calamine lotion to help soothe the affected area.
Find shade under a tree. Nobody wants to miss the fun, it is important to find some shade during the hottest part of the day to help keep them cool and prevent heat stroke.
Drink plenty of cold drinks and foods that have high water content. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dehydration. Fruit contains water too, so pack plenty!
Pack a first aid kit. Ensure festival goers have a first aid kit in case of a minor accident or ailment. For tips on what to include, visit:http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/990.aspxor talk to your local pharmacy.
If you’re channelling your inner teenager and going to festivals then these tips apply to you too!
For more information about festival sun safety tips, visit www.nhs.uk/
Picture caption: Help to keep your teenager safe in the festival sun.