Summertime in the UK for many people means one thing… festivals! With homegrown musicians and bands going from strength to strength it is no surprise that this year’s calendar is busier than ever. We know festivals are a time to let loose and listen to some of your artists in a care free environment, however for people who are at risk of severe allergies and anaphylaxis this environment can seem challenging.
We don’t want anyone to miss out on the festival experience and have come up with some top tips on staying safe all while enjoying yourself!
Before you go
- It is likely that your bag will be searched before you enter the site, we therefore suggest taking a note from your doctor explaining why you need to take your medication into the venue with you.
- Make sure the people you are going with know about all your allergy and ask someone you trust to be your emergency contact.
- Take some ‘safe foods’ that you have checked the labeling of at home such as crisps, instant noodles etc.
- There are bags available to help maintain medication at the correct temperature, it may be worth the investment.
When you arrive
- When you arrive scope out the site map and locate the nearest medical test, it may also be worth having a wander over to introduce yourself yourself and let them know about your allergies just to put you on their radar.
- Never hand your adrenaline over to a member of staff when you enter the venue, keep it on you at all times. We recommend that you always carry two AAIs with you and do not leave them in the tent.
During the festival
- Make sure you have a mobile with you at all times and it has a good battery life, it may also be worth investing in a portable battery pack for peace of mind.
- Remember festivals can be very busy places so getting lost or separated from your friends could happen, it would be worth wearing a medical alert bracelet or jewellery that displays your allergies and treatment.
- Eating at festivals can be tricky but remember all food outlets are required by law to provide information on 14 major allergens so ask the question! If you do not not feel confident that they can cater for you do not take the risk.
- If you are consuming alcohol try to do so in moderation to avoid an allergic reaction being mistaken for the consumption of alcohol. For more advice on this have a look at our Doctor Doyle Video.
- If you have an allergy to insect venom avoid walking around in bare feet or sandals when outdoors and using strong perfumes during the summer. Many other products, such as hairsprays, hair tonics and other cosmetics, contain strong perfumes. These attract stinging insects.
- In the case of an emergency try to stay clam, don’t go off by yourself, inform someone about your reaction and ask them to find a member of staff, use your adrenaline if you need it!