Summer fun means summer crowds: How to stay safe and healthy

Summer’s in full swing, and that means concerts, parades, vacations, baseball games and fireworks. Big summer events can mean big summer crowds. But have no fear — knowing a few tips about how to navigate crowds can help you stay safe in the sun.

First off, it’s important to know what type of event you’ll be going to. If it’s a big celebration like the Fourth of July, you may be outside for a long time. If you’re in the sun all day, take some advice from the American Red Cross and bring plenty of water and snacks.

Also important is to know the signs for heat stroke: red, hot skin; losing consciousness; shallow breathing; and a weak pulse. Wear sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes and face from the sun. Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 and make sure to reapply throughout the day.

What if the event is a nighttime concert? Big gatherings can create a higher risk for getting sick and hurt, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. Infectious disease can spread more easily in crowds. So make sure you’re up on your immunizations and use hand sanitizer. Scope out where the first-aid area is so you can quickly head there if you need to. Avoid caffeinated drinks, which can dehydrate you, and alcohol, which can affect your safety.

In general, it helps to always be prepared for emergencies and have a plan. Whatever event you’re going to, arrive early to check out the area. Find a safe place where your family and friends can meet if something happens. Also, be aware of where emergency exits are and stay near them. If there is a less crowded area to be in, move there.

Above all, listen for official instructions and take action right away if told to. For more tips, check out Get Ready’s fact sheet on crowd safety.Whatever event you end up attending this summer, make sure health and safety is part of the plan.

Photo courtesy PEXELS/Manuel Joseph 

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