If you are anything like the thousands of fans that pour into the Orlando Citrus Bowl Stadium (now Camping World Stadium) to cheer on the Orlando City Soccer Club, you may have caught the soccer bug. Every game is a city-wide event, drawing locals and tourists alike to don their best Orlando City purple attire and head to their TV sets, favorite sports bars or Downtown to watch the action. The games tend to be great fun for all ages, but it is important to remember that there are some inherent risks involved, especially if you allow the excitement of fandom to make you careless. To help keep you and yours safe this soccer season, we have listed our top tips to tailgating safety.
5 Tips to Tailgating Safety
5) Get some sun, but not too much: Florida is famous (sometimes infamous) for its blazing sun. If you are tailgating on a sunny afternoon, you are going to want to break out sunscreen with an SPF rating of 15 or higher. Do not forget that the sun can also be dangerous and painful for your eyes as well; wear a pair of sunglasses to provide your eyes some rest and much-needed UV protection.
4) Check the weather: Though summer is known for the sun, many forget that that sun, paired with moisture, can create dangerous thunderstorms. Check the weather report before heading out to avoid being caught off guard, drenched and stuck in dangerous weather.
3) Keep up food safety standards: If you plan on grilling, make sure that meat is cooked at temperatures needed to kill harmful bacteria. Never handle food with dirty hands and be sure to keep ingredients that must be refrigerated in an iced cooler and away from the hot sun.
2) Ready a pre-game checklist: Many times, tailgating leads to fans, in all the excitement, forgetting important safety steps before heading over to the big game. Make a pre-game checklist that includes safely disposing of all garbage, ensuring that the grill has cooled and that you have locked all valuables out of sight within your vehicle.
1) Never drink and drive: Selecting a designated driver at the beginning of the trip can literally save lives. Though drinking alcohol is a well-known aspect of tailgating culture, always do so responsibly. Apps like Uber and Lyft have made calling a ride easier than ever; there is no excuse for endangering yourself and those on the road just because you had one too many.
Though getting excited about the game can be fantastic fun for friends and family of all ages, tailgating safety is paramount to make sure you make it to the game, and back home, safely. The next time you head out to cheer on the Lions, or any other team, keep these tips in mind and enjoy a great time with those you love.