THURSDAY // JUNE 14
HOW TO PREVENT HEAT-RELATED ISSUES AT OUTDOOR EVENTS
Another toasty Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee has proven once again that the heat can be very unforgivable if proper precautions are not carried out. On Friday morning, a 32-year old man had been found dead inside a vehicle, with an autopsy expected to determine the cause of death, reported USA Today. Although no foul play is suspected, his death signifies the 13th fatality in Bonnaroo history.
This also really touches on the vital rule, if you see something say something. We don’t know the details of the man’s death but if we look out for each other or simply follow the buddy system, we are doing our best to prevent a tragedy.
Dozens of festival attendees had been treated for heat-related issues already on the festival’s second day with temperature of 90 degrees with a heat index of 99, Sheriff’s office spokesman Lucky Knott told USA Today. Some of these people had to be transported and treated at local hospitals.
Education is key when it comes to heat-related illness prevention and treatment. We can observe what the experts have to say in order to stay safe when outside for a number of days in a row under hot conditions.
Outlined by the Red Cross website, here are some tips on how to prevent and treat heat-related illnesses:
Prior to hitting festival grounds, you should know the locations of shade areas and also air conditioned areas for when your body is in need of a break from the heat. Know where your medical emergency services are. For Bonnaroo and most festies, the map and map on the website outlines where the 24/7 medical tents are located. If you cannot access these, there are plenty of staff to help you locate the help you need.
The following bullets come from The Red Cross website, and they really do apply to both workers and attendees in outdoor events with excessive heat conditions:
- The Red Cross urges you to drink water and other non-alcoholic beverages whenever possible, even if you may not feel thirsty.
- Eat small meals and eat often
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light colored clothing. Wearing dark colors as we know only absorbs the sun’s heat causing you to feel much hotter than the next person. Those festival pants may look cute but they are not worth your well being.
- Slow down and pace yourself. Take as many breaks as you can, and when someone in your festival crew or coworker feels overheated, don’t pressure him or her to keep up.
Red Cross website outlines three different heat-related illnesses on the body caused by heat waves. From low severity to high, they are as follows: Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
What happens: muscular pains and spasms usually in the legs or abdomen
Why: Early sign the body is struggling with the heat
How to treat: Make sure the individual reaches a cooler area with a comfortable place to sit comfortably. Stretch and massage the area. Make sure they consume a beverage with electrolytes such as sports drinks, fruit juice or milk. Avoid salt tablets at all costs.
Who: This one affects athletes, firefighters, construction workers, factory workers and people wearing heavy clothing in the heat and humidity.
What happens: Look for person with cool, moist, pale, ashen or flushed skin. The individual may experience a headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness and/or exhaustion.
How to treat: Move this person to a cool environment with circulating air. Remove as much clothing as possible, apply cold wet cloth/towels and fan or mist the individual with water. If conscious, provide the individual with cold drinks that contain electrolytes, milk or water. The Red Cross recommends 4 ounces of fluid every 15 minutes
If he or she’s condition worsens, refuses water, changes consciousness or vomits: call 911
Why: Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition, caused by ignoring signs of heat exhaustion. The body systems are fully overwhelmed and stop functioning.
What happens: Look for red skin, dry or moist. The person changes consciousness, may have a rapid, weak pulse or rapid shallow breathing. He or she may be confused, vomiting or even experience seizures.
How to treat: Call 911 immediately. In the meantime, rapidly cool the body by immersing completely in cold water up to one’s neck or douse or spray the person with cold water. Press ice-water soaked towels over the body while quickly rotating the towels. Cover them with bags of ice. If there is no way to read one’s temperature, apply these methods for 20 minutes.
For more information visit the Red Cross page on treating heat-related illnesses.
Among heat exhaustion, Bonnaroo has an impressive website outlining safety related to alcohol, drugs, food, sexual assault prevention and so much more.