The 15th annual Taste of Atlanta food festival will feature dozens of tents serving food items from the menus of local restaurants. (TASTE OF ATLANTA)

How to stay healthy and hydrated at Atlanta-area festivals

Atlanta is the home of many popular festivals that draw large crowds every year. From the Piedmont Park Arts Festival to Taste of Atlanta to the Atlanta Bar-B-Q Festival, you'll probably find several events you'll want to attend. The following tips will help you stay healthy and hydrated so you don't suffer any ill effects from your fun:

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Use sunscreen.

Many festivals don't have a lot of shade, so you'll want to be sure to apply sunscreen before you leave the house. Take your tube or bottle along with you, because you'll need to apply it at least every two hours.

Bring hand sanitizer.

You'll probably be eating and drinking and may need to use a porta-potty, so bring along a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse or backpack. This will also help clean dirt and sticky foods from your hands.

Pack some extras.

In addition to sunscreen and hand sanitizer, bring along a few Band-Aids in case you get a blister and a few tablets of headache and anti-nausea medicines. They won't take up much room in a purse or backpack, and they can help a small issue from getting worse and cutting your day short.

Wear appropriate clothing.

Wear loose-fitting clothing that doesn't expose too much skin. A tank top isn't the best choice, because it exposes the tops of your shoulders, which burn easily. A hat and sunglasses can help shield your face and eyes from the sun. Wear comfortable shoes that offer some good support, since you'll probably be walking and standing a lot.

Don't overindulge.

Festivals often emphasize food and/or alcohol, and even when that's not the event's main attraction, they're often readily available. Especially if you're out in the hot sun, you may find yourself feeling nauseous if you overindulge in food or drink. Pace yourself, taking care to not overdo it, and if you're drinking, make sure to also have something to eat.

Protect your hearing.

If you're attending a music festival, you may be exposed to hours of extremely loud music. Pack some earplugs to help protect your hearing, and don't position yourself too close to loud speakers.

Stay hydrated.

Bring along a partially frozen bottle of water so you'll have something to drink when you get to the festival in case your options are limited and food and beverage lines are long when you arrive. You'll probably also be able to buy cold drinks at the venue. Stay well hydrated, especially if you're out in the direct sun and are sweating. Limit your consumption of alcohol, since drinking it can dehydrate you. If you do want to enjoy beer or another alcoholic beverage, drink an equal amount of water.

Take frequent breaks.

It's easy to get caught up in the fun and neglect to take it easy once in a while. Make sure to take frequent breaks to get something to eat and drink. Sit down in the shade if possible so you can recharge and enjoy the rest of the festival.

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