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Guide to festivals

It doesn't matter if it's the first festival you've been to, or you go every year, you still need to look after your diabetes properly.

If you're worried about where the best place will be for you to inject or if you concerned about having enough insulin, we've got advice that can help and make sure you have a good time.

How to prepare for a festival

Festival season usually starts in May and goes on until September. This means that you'll probably experience a full range of weather conditions.

Before you go

  • Look on the festival's website and download a map. You should work out where the first aid tent is early on. Remember that they may not stock your particular sort of insulin but will be able to help if you feel unwell in any way.
  • Check you’ve got all your diabetes equipment and take spares of insulin, your pen, pump or syringes and a blood glucose monitoring kit.
  • If you use a pump, make sure you bring insulin pens with you too. If your pump breaks for any reason, it's a good idea to have a backup.
  • Get a letter from your doctor to say you have diabetes and need to carry needles as some venues will need to see this.
  • Take a mobile phone. Make sure you have at least two 'ICE' (in case of emergency) numbers in your phone contacts list. You ICE contacts should be someone at the festival and someone at home. Work out how you're going to charge your phone – for example, a battery-powered charger.
  • Make sure you know how you're going to keep your insulin cool before you go. Frio wallets work by just being run under cold water, so are very useful.
  • Buy an ID badge or bracelet. Go to Diabetes UK's online shop or try Ice ID or MedicAlert.

"You will probably be searched as you enter the arena so explain to the marshals and show them your medical identity card. Make sure you always carry your medical ID on you. "

Poppy Johnson

  • Take a day bag with enough room for your kit.
  • Take plenty of carbs to cook while you're there like tins of pasta, beans, noodles, and take lots of bottled water.
  • Make sure your friends know about your diabetes and what to do if you have a hypo.

While you’re there…

  • Find the first aid tent and pitch your tent nearby, if possible. They should have an area where you can inject your insulin, and you may be able to keep your supplies there too.
  • Have a plan with your friends in case you get separated, lose your tent or feel unwell.
  • Always carry your diabetes ID badge or bracelet.
  • Keep some change on you, just in case you need a sugary drink or snack to treat a hypo.
  • Check your blood glucose regularly. When you're walking around, dancing, staying up late and trying different foods your blood sugar levels are going to be affected.
  • Think about reducing your insulin dose if you're doing a lot of activity or if it's very hot.

Have fun! If you're prepared and you keep safe, there's no reason for you not to have a good time.

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