So you’re planning to join the fun at the Carolina Country Music Fest. That’s terrific — you’re in for a memorable experience! But it’s important to prepare so that you can stay healthy and feeling great from the first note to the final encore.
Here are some health and wellness tips from Tidelands Health, the official health care system of the festival, to help you have a rocking good time.
When you’re at the festival, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun. Dr. William Jackson Epperson, a family medicine physician with Tidelands Health, encourages people to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays 30 minutes before heading outside. But, remember, it’s not enough to apply sunscreen before you arrive. You’ll need to reapply it every two hours at a minimum. Be certain to bring a bottle of sunscreen rated at SPF 30 or higher.
If you forget sunscreen, make your way to the Tidelands Health tent. The health system will be giving away complimentary sunscreen and fans while supplies last.
Even though you won’t be kicking up your heels on stage like the performers, your body will lose a lot water during the festival. Make sure to replace it, or you risk becoming dehydrated — especially if you consume alcohol.
Most adults need about three liters of water every day under normal circumstances. But when you’re out in the sun all day, you’ll need to drink more water than usual. Ashley Capps, associate vice president of nursing operations at Tidelands Health, encourages festivalgoers to listen to the body’s natural signs of thirst and respond accordingly.
You may think flip flops or sandals are the best option for a day spent outside in the sun, but you’ll probably be walking and standing a lot. Michelle Sine, a physical therapist who specializes in the foot and ankle at Tidelands Health Rehabilitation Services at Myrtle Beach, says to choose a shoe that offers proper support.
Consider a closed-toe shoe with socks to reduce rubbing and blistering, and avoid wearing new shoes that haven’t been properly broken in.
Take a hat, visor and/or sunglasses to help protect your eyes from the sun’s glare. Squinting all day can lead to eye strain or headaches that can dull the fun. Make sure your sunglasses offer full protection from both UVA and UVB rays.
There’s a lot to enjoy during the three-day festival. Don’t exhaust yourself by trying to pack too much into a short timeframe. Find a place to rest if you need a break. If you feel like you’re getting too hot or you become lightheaded, seek medical attention from on-site emergency responders immediately. Complimentary fans will be available (while supplies last) at the Tidelands Health tent to help you cool off.
If you’re planning to get close to the stage, consider bringing hearing protection. Exposure to loud music can cause temporary tinnitus (ringing in your ears), and extended exposure to music louder than 85 decibels can cause permanent hearing loss.
Wear insect repellent, and avoid the use of perfumes or scented lotions to help keep pesky critters at bay.
The festival takes place rain or shine, so be prepared for anything. Take a poncho to shield yourself from passing showers.
When choosing what to wear to the festival, focus on lightweight clothing made of cotton, linen, rayon or chambray. Because these materials are breathable, they are good choices for hot weather. Clothing made of silk, polyester or nylon retain heat, so they’re not ideal for hot days.
Make sure to start your day off right by eating well before you arrive. The registered dietitians at Tidelands Health encourage people to eat a balanced breakfast that contains adequate protein and a high-quality carbohydrate. For example, consider a vegetable omelet with one slice of whole grain toast topped with half an avocado. Or have some Greek yogurt topped with nuts and fresh fruit.
Make sure you’re familiar with the festival’s bag policies, and pack appropriately. The venue allows clear bags up to 12”x6”x12,” one-gallon clear plastic freezer bags and small clutch bags (approximately the size of a hand with or without a handle or strap). An exception will be made for medically necessary items after proper inspection at the designated gate.
That policy, developed to help ensure a safe experience and expedite entry to the show, means you’ll have to take care when packing your supplies for the day. Remember to include bandages, pain relievers, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, insect repellent, sunscreen and ear plugs, as well as any other medications on personal supplies you may need.
Familiarize yourself with a map of the festival in advance so you know where to go if you need medical attention or become separated from your child. And download the festival app to see a complete musical lineup, create your own personalized schedule, learn about who’s playing this year and a lot more. The app also includes a site map to help you find refreshments, ATMs and great on-site activities.
When you’re at the festival, stop by the Tidelands Health tent for a quick, “Howdy!” You can grab some complimentary sunscreen, fans and hand sanitizer, while supplies last, and learn what’s new at the region’s largest health system. We’ll be sharing all the latest details about Tidelands Health Medical Park at The Market Common, set to open in Myrtle Beach this summer.