Sex, Dehydration and Rock n’ Roll
- Pharmacists issue Healthcare Tips for Electric Picnic
28 August 2019: As almost 60,000 music fans are preparing to descend upon Stradbally Co. Laois for this year’s Electric Picnic, pharmacists have issued important healthcare advice to concert goers. According to the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) avoiding dehydration and unprotected sex are among the most important steps to take at this year’s festival.
Community pharmacist and IPU executive committee member Ann-Marie Horan has urged attendees to take action to avoid dehydration. “While the temperature may not be too high, when it is combined with even moderate levels of alcohol this is a potentially dangerous mix.
“To avoid dehydration at this year’s Electric Picnic, attendees should make sure to drink at least one drink of water for every alcoholic or caffeinated beverage. While prevention is the best approach, they should also bring rehydration salts, as well as medication to treat any stomach upsets that may emerge.”
Ms Horan also highlighted the risks of unprotected sex, warning that “unplanned and unprotected sexual encounters can increase the risks of contracting STIs (sexually transmitted infections). The most effective protection for preventing STIs is condoms, and therefore anyone who believes there is possibility of a sexual encounter should be prepared and bring condoms with them.”
Ms Horan also advised that fans should bring “any regular medications they require, along with antiseptic cream for bites, stings or cuts and anti-histamines for hay fever sufferers as a weekend spent outdoors might increase any symptoms of hay fever”.
Ms Horan said that anyone who is on prescription medication should not forget to bring it along, take it as prescribed and not to skip a dose: “It’s important to take your medication as prescribed. If you have asthma, bring your inhaler and spare cartridges, or if you have diabetes, make sure to take your insulin and eat regularly to avoid a drop-in blood sugars”.
Music goers are also advised to note the location of the medical posts on site, so they know where to go if they need assistance at any stage during the festival.
“Music festivals such as Electric Picnic are there to be enjoyed. It is important that individuals take all precautions to ensure that they have a safe and healthy festival experience”, Ms Horan said.
Pharmacists have prepared these tips to cover some of the common issues that arise at these major music events:
- Make sure to bring along an adequate supply of any prescription medication you may be taking;
- Asthma sufferers should take all their inhalers with them; and
- Anyone with an allergy to any prescription medicine, such as penicillin, should wear a bracelet or necklace stating this fact.
- If there is a possibility you might become sexually active at the festival, take precautions and practice safe sex. Always use a condom to protect against STIs; and
- Vomiting and diarrhoea can render oral contraceptives ineffective.
- 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; and
- 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.
- Apply SPF 30 or higher 20 minutes before you go out into the sun, and reapply regularly;
- Wear a hat and sunglasses;
- If you suffer from cold sores, wear a lip balm with high sun protection and carry a cream to treat cold sores; and
- Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.
Wash your hands:
- Wash your hands before you eat, after going to the toilet or handling rubbish. Bring along hand gel with a high alcohol content and use it regularly.