Thursday, 30 August 2012 08:08
IPU Give Tips to Festival Revellers for a Healthy Weekend
The Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU), the representative body for 1,800 community pharmacists, has warned people going to Electric Picnic this weekend to take adequate precautions to look after their health. The IPU outlined that unprotected sex, dehydration, sunburn and diarrhoea are the main threats to the health and safety of festival goers.
IPU Treasurer John Gleeson advised festival goers to be especially cautious about the risks of unprotected sex. "We are warning people to plan ahead if they believe there is any chance of an unplanned sexual encounter. Condoms are essential to protect against Sexually Transmitted Infections. It is also important to note that while normal oral contraception can assist against an unwanted pregnancy, it becomes ineffective if the person is suffering from vomiting or diarrhoea."
Mr Gleeson also provided advice on other areas that revellers should be aware of. "A few small items can help if you do become unwell, such as medication for stomach upsets or diarrhoea and antiseptic cream for bites, stings or cuts. It is important to have sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher with UVA protection also.
"Music festivals such as Electric Picnic are there to be enjoyed and are a way of people letting their hair down. It is important therefore that individuals take all precautions to ensure that they have a safe and healthy festival experience," he continued.
The IPU has developed some tips to cover some of the common issues that arise at events:
- Make sure to bring along an adequate supply of any prescription medication you may be taking.
- Asthma sufferers should take preventative inhalers with them, even if they are not showing any symptoms.
- Anyone with an allergy to any prescription medicine, such as penicillin, should wear a bracelet or necklace which states this fact.
- If you intend to be sexually active at the festival, take precautions and practice safe sex. Always use a condom to protect against sexually transmitted infections.
- Vomiting and diarrhoea can render oral contraceptives ineffective.
- Apply high sun protection factor (SPF) 20 minutes before you go out into the sun and reapply regularly.
- Wear a hat and shades.
- If you suffer from cold sores, wear a lip balm with high sun protection and carry a cream to treat cold sores.
- Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.
- Stomach upsets can be common at events such as festivals where people's normal dietary routine is interrupted. Ask your pharmacist about appropriate over-the-counter medicines to bring with you should this happen.
- It is important to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration if you are suffering from diarrhoea. In some cases, rehydration sachets may be necessary.
- Antiseptic hand gel is always handy to have at outdoor events and can reduce the risks of an upset stomach.