How to stay well this Glastonbury Festival


By Sarah Turnnidge & PA MediaBBC News, West of England

PA Wide view of the crowd at Glastonbury near sunset, with lots of flags and flare smoke visible. PA

The gates to the festival are just days from opening

With just days to go until gates open, thousands of people across the country are preparing to head to one of the biggest festivals in the world.

But among the sparkly outfits and sleeping bags, there are a few essentials Glastonbury Festival-goers should bear in mind to stay well during their stay on the farm.

While tens of thousands of people descend on Worthy Farm each year without incident, the experience is not without its hazards.

So here is a quick rundown of some simple things you can do to prevent some of the pain of a five-day party.

Dehydration

As Brits, there are few pleasures in life that top basking in the sunshine with a cold beer at a festival, but doctors have urged festival-goers to drink plenty of water over the five-day event.

“Being outdoors in the heat can be physically demanding, especially if you’re on your feet, dancing,” says Nick Higginson, CEO of Phoenix Health & Safety.

“If you combine this with drinking alcohol, it can easily lead to exhaustion.”

He recommended packing a large reusable bottle to refill between sets, with hundreds of free water points available around the site.

PA A man walking through the festival site on a hot day is seen drinking from a large plastic water container. PA

Dehydration and sunstroke could become a problem as temperatures rise

Tinnitus

Thousands of attendees are excited to see amazing performances from the likes of Dua Lipa and Shania Twain, however, the thumping bass during these sets could lead to tinnitus.

“Prolonged exposure to loud music can permanently damage the delicate structures of the inner ear, and cause hearing loss and tinnitus,” explained Hannah Samuels, an audiologist at Boots Hearingcare.

She suggests using hearing protection – ear plugs of muffs – “as these lower the level of sound, but still enable you to hear everything – and it can often sound better, too”.

Athlete’s foot

Busy festivals like Glastonbury are breeding grounds for bacteria, but Dr Adam Staten, clinical director at One Day Tests and NHS GP, advises campers to keep their feet as clean as possible.

“Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungal infection which thrives in moist conditions,” explains Dr Staten.

“You can avoid athlete’s foot by keeping your feet clean and dry, and allowing air to get to them when possible.”

PA A picture shows someone wearing bright red wellies walking through a muddy puddle at the festival. PA

Conditions can change quickly thanks to the Great British weather

Sprained ankles

Sandals might be tempting, but protecting your ankles is more sensible, said Mr Higginson:

“While it’s fun to put on colourful outfits, wearing unsupportive shoes like sandals can easily lead to sprained ankles, which could result in the rest of your weekend being a lot less enjoyable,” he says.

“Make sure you’re wearing comfortable clothing that allows for easy movement, along with closed-toe shoes with good traction and support, that can help prevent slips, trips and falls on uneven ground.”

Sunburn and heatstroke

Bright blue skies have arrived just in time for Glastonbury 2024 and it is set to stay warm in Pilton next week.

The NHS recommends using sun cream with at least SPF 30, and four or five-star ultraviolet A (UVA) protection.

Ticket holders have been urged to stay alert and hydrated in case sunburn snowballs into heat exhaustion – or the much more serious heatstroke.

Dizziness, headaches, feeling sick and excessive sweating, are all signs of heat exhaustion, according to the NHS. However, if these symptoms do not subside after 30 minutes, it could be heatstroke.

Anyone needing medical help while at the festival should head to one of the medical tents available across the site.



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