Hot Weather, Cool Guests: Ensuring Comfort and Safety at Outdoor Events
Summer is the season for being outdoors! From concerts and beach days to weddings and picnics, outdoor activities are the perfect way to enjoy good weather while we have it. Especially in Rochester, NY, it’s important to soak up some Vitamin D and enjoy the sunshine before it hides away in fall and winter.
While it’s easy to thoughtlessly enjoy a beautiful summer day, it’s important to remember the potential health and wellness risks that come with hot, sunny weather. If you’re hosting an outdoor event, you want to be careful not to overlook your guests’ comfort in the summer sun. Being mindful of hot weather safety will keep everyone healthy, happy, and having a great time!
Sun Protection is Vital
It’s important not to underestimate the value of sunscreen. While it can be annoying to take the time to apply it, it’s way better than suffering a terrible sunburn—or worse, skin cancer later down the line. SPF 30 or above is recommended for adequate protection. If your guests are swimming or sweating a lot, you’ll want to encourage them to reapply frequently. Keeping sunscreen on hand for any guests that forgot their own is a great idea and it’ll be helpful to have shady areas to protect everyone from both UV rays and the heat.
Practice Heat Safety
Providing shady areas is vital not only to protect from the sun but also from its heat. Encourage your guests to dress for the weather as much as possible. Black tuxedos are a classic but dark colors and heavy layers will get very warm in direct sunlight. It would also be wise to have an indoor air conditioned area available for anyone in danger of overheating. Misters and fans can also help keep an outdoor area cool.
Most importantly, keep your guests hydrated. Plenty of cold beverages should be accessible at all times, especially water. On particularly hot and sweaty days, you may want to discourage your guests from drinking anything with caffeine or alcohol as these drinks make it more difficult for the body to rehydrate itself. It would also be wise to have a snack bar with plenty of salty treats to help to rehydrate more efficiently. When paired with water, the salt helps the body to absorb vital minerals lost through sweat. Sports drinks containing electrolytes can also help with rehydration and nutrient replenishment.
Don’t Overlook Food Safety
On the topic of snacks, don’t forget about the rest of the food at your event. Especially for perishable items, keeping everything at the correct temperature is very important to prevent spoiling or bacteria growth. Cold food should stay cold with the help of coolers and ice packs. In order to be safe to eat, the food should be kept at 40° Fahrenheit. It’s recommended to keep beverages and food in separate coolers so cold food is exposed to as little heat as possible.
For any events involving a grill, knowing grill safety is of the utmost importance. Keep any grills and firepits in open areas, away from flammable material including loose clothing. It’s also important to check that meat is thoroughly cooked with a thermometer and to keep food hot by moving it to the side of the grill rack. Do not reuse any dirty utensils!
During the day, you have to worry about flies, bees, and wasps. Once the sun sets, mosquitos, June beetles, and moths can become an annoyance at the party. Incorporating some sort of insect prevention into your event can help to minimize pests that will annoy you and your guests. Using bug spray, insect screens can help. Some outdoor venues have been treated to prevent bugs, though the pesticides used can sometimes be harmful to children or pets.
It’s impossible to control the weather so it’s important to monitor the forecast for the day of your event and to make backup plans in advance. A sudden storm can really disrupt your party! Rain is a relatively minor annoyance but lightning is a serious safety risk. Be sure to provide a safe place for your guests to go if it starts storming. Tents, trees, and gazebos do not protect from lightning and can even make it more likely to be electrocuted. Having an indoor area accessible is of the utmost importance. Having a plan will also help you to be calm and in control of the situation in case of unexpected weather, which will in turn make your guests feel more confident in their safety.
Emergency Preparedness is Important!
Even the best made plans can’t account for every situation. It’s important to be prepared in case anything goes awry so you’re able to keep your guests safe. Preparing a first aid kit can remedy most basic ailments. It’s recommended to have saline, bandages, antibiotic ointment, tweezers, and a cold compress on hand in case of any accidents.
Everyone wants to have fun in the sun but even the best event can quickly turn sour after an emergency situation. The last thing anyone wants is to disrupt your special day by passing out in the heat or getting sick from dehydration. Being mindful of the health and safety risks of summer weather and preparing for heat, storms, or other seasonal conditions will help everything run smoothly and allow you to put on the best event of the season!