Summertime in the UK for many people means one thing… festivals! It’s exciting to see festivals are returning to our calendars. We know that festivals are a time to let loose and listen to some of your favourite artists in a carefree environment. However, for people who have serious allergies and are at risk of anaphylaxis, this environment can seem challenging.
We don’t want anyone to miss out on the festival experience, so we 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. Keep an up to date Allergy Action Plan with your adrenaline auto-injector to explain why you need them with you at all times.
• Make sure the people you are going with know about your allergy, where to find your medication and how to use your adrenaline auto-injector. Ask someone you trust to be your emergency contact.
• Take ‘safe food’ with you as a back-up that you know is free of your allergen(s).
• Do not leave adrenaline auto-injectors in hot places or direct sunlight. Bags are available to help keep them at the correct temperature.
When you arrive
• When you arrive scope out the site map and locate the nearest medical tent. It may also be worth having a wander over to introduce yourself to the medical staff and let them know about your allergy(ies).
• Never hand your adrenaline auto-injectors over to a member of staff when you enter the venue – these must be kept on you at all times. We recommend that you always carry two adrenaline auto-injectors with you and do not leave them in your tent.
During the festival
• Make sure you have a mobile phone with you at all times, in case of an emergency. It may be worth investing in a portable battery pack to ensure that your phone stays charged.
• 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. This has important medical information, such as your allergies, engraved onto the jewellery.
• Eating at festivals can be tricky but remember all food outlets are required by law to provide information on the 14 major allergens. Remember to ask food businesses about allergens when eating out! If you do 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. Remember that drinking alcohol may put you at an increased risk of a serious reaction.
• If you have an allergy to insect venom avoid walking around in bare feet or sandals when outdoors and avoid using strong perfumes during the summer. Many other products, such as hairsprays, hair tonics and other cosmetics, also contain strong perfumes. These attract stinging insects. Take a look at our #BeeAllergyAware campaign and download our free mini-guide.
• In the case of an emergency try to stay calm, don’t go off by yourself, inform someone about your reaction and ask them to find a member of staff. Use your adrenaline auto-injectors without delay if you believe your reaction could be anaphylaxis.