From festivals and ball games, to concerts and live performances, walks/runs, and waterparks, the goal for any event organizer is to keep those good times going by ensuring every guest has a safe experience. Prevention is the best defense, anticipating and intercepting safety threats before they happen — as well as providing emergency medical response should fun moments take a turn. As part of our Prevention awareness effort, we asked the Joffe EMT event safety team to share the most common types of injuries they treat during events — and the results are in. The good news for event planners? They’re usually preventable. Here’s what Joffe EMTs had to say.
Event venues where alcohol is served should have an emergency plan in place to treat guests who have had - ahem – one too many. Intoxication impairs judgment and coordination, sometimes leading to arguments, physical altercations or physical imbalance. Injuries can include falls, scrapes/broken skin, bruises, and even the occasional destruction of property. The most severe (and lethal) condition is alcohol poisoning requiring emergency medical attention. Less severe conditions needing treatment are dehydration, nausea, and headache.
Entirely avoidable, intoxication is ultimately due to a lack of water consumption. Water is key! Always encourage hydration, making water readily available and an easy option for guests to choose alongside any other beverages. Vigilance when it comes to serving limits and detection is key to preventing alcohol-related injuries.
Heat-related injuries (Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion)
The sun is a powerful force. Caught off-guard, guests can experience serious medical conditions related to heat exposure. Heat stroke can happen if the body reaches a high temperature and is unable to cool down. This is a fast-acting injury that requires emergency medical treatment. In fact, heat stroke can set in in as little as 15 minutes. Heat Exhaustion — which is different from Heat Stroke — is another injury that can happen when the body loses large amounts of water and salt (usually through sweat).
Having cool, shady places for guests to rest and cool off, and constant reminders to hydrate with water to restore electrolytes can help prevent heat-related setbacks.
Slips, Trips, & Falls
Uneven terrain poses the possibility of a misstep. Running or walking on soft surfaces such as soil or sand, floor surfaces with cracks or uneven planks or tiles, and even stepping into and out of small or awkward spaces such as stadium or amphitheater seats, carnival rides, and climbing narrow stairs — can contribute to painful accidents.
Guests should be encouraged to take their time moving into and out of spaces cautiously. Handrails should be secured and sturdy, steps can be painted to highlight safety, with visible signage in place to highlight uneven surfaces. Prompt reporting and clean-up of liquid spills drastically reduces the potential for unnecessary slips and accidents.
Immediate application of ice or ice packs to reduce swelling, pain relievers for comfort, and crutches to alleviate pressure on the foot are standard emergency responses.
Guest safety is a year-round priority, but when summertime is in full swing, heat can play a major role in injuries. Read on to learn more about preventing injuries during warm-weather outdoor events.