Tips for Festival Season Health Spring is here, and in New Orleans, that means festival season is upon us. The hot New Orleans sun, allergies, and overindulgence can really wear you out in the spring. But there are many ways to stay healthy and also enjoy festival season. Everyone wants to have a good time at festivals, and there are many ways to maintain healthy habits, especially if you know what you’re getting into. For example, we know that Bayou Boogaloo, Tales of the Cocktail, and Satchmo Summerfest are festivals where you should stay hydrated all day. The heat is dehydrating, as well as too much alcohol consumption. Pack a water bottle, or ask for a cup of water with every cocktail you order. We recommend “going grilled” with your food choices; whether that means packing a picnic or buying grilled options at Greek Fest the last weekend of May. Seafood like shrimp and crawfish are just as good grilled as they are fried. You should also remember to pace yourself. Strawberry daiquiris, a cold Abita, and other classic New Orleans cocktails are all part of the fun, but these are long festival days. Celebrate unique cocktails by sipping slowly and make the drink last. Or you can share with a friend and taste a couple favorites. Don’t forget, to alternate drinks with water! Many people in NOLA choose to bring their kids along for the fun, making festivals a family-affair. The most important thing to remember with little ones is the intense heat, loud noise, and large crowds. Many festivals are kid-friendly, but you have to prepare for what’s to come. Don’t forget! Sunglasses, a sun hat, high SPF sunscreen, and lip balm with SPF A Ziploc bag for your phone can help protect it from dirt or rain. Large crowds are also unavoidable. Whether it’s keeping track of your kids or your friends, you should have an emergency plan; Pack a contact card that has your groups’ phone numbers, the address of where you’re staying, and agree on a meeting spot if you become separated. Bring your ID, spending cash and a backup card! Keeping safe Emergen-c and an energy bar can be the healthy electrolyte or protein boost you need to stay energized through the afternoon. Advil, allergy meds, and any prescriptions are a must. None of us wants a headache or fogginess at a festival. Tip- bring enough to last the day even if you don’t think you’ll need it. Hand sanitizer can help with outdoor eating, public restrooms and avoiding germs throughout the day. It’s never a bad idea to carry first aid bandages, and some sort of antiseptic in case of minor cuts or scrapes. Pack it all up in a bag with zippers to protect your belongings, and straps to distribute weight for all-day wear. For more health and wellness tips, visit Touro’s blog online at touro.com/livingwell. To find a physician at Touro, call (504) 897-7777 or visit touro.com/FindADoc.