Each year as August rolls around, Queenslanders from all around the state gear up for another dose of strawberry sundaes and Dagwood dogs as the Ekka returns to the Brisbane Showgrounds.

Last year, more than 415,000 people attended the Ekka across the 10-day period, and approximately 50,000 visited on People’s Day alone. The home call doctor experts at House Call Doctor have put together some tips on how you and your family can stay healthy and have the best experience possible at the 2019 Royal Queensland Show.

  • If you are sick, stay at home

As Queensland experiences its worst flu season on record, after-hours doctors are urging people to stay at home if they are feeling unwell.

House Call Doctor’s Assistant Clinical Director Dr Ryan Harvey said flu levels in Brisbane were still rising as we enter the worst of the flu season.

“The influenza virus is an airborne illness passed on when people typically cough and release small droplets into the air containing the virus which land on people or surfaces,” Dr Harvey said.

“Crowded places like the Ekka are ideal locations to pass on the flu as many people are in close proximity. The flu can affect people differently and some patients may take up to two weeks to fully recover.”

  • Wash your hands

There are so many exciting things to do and see at this year’s Ekka – rides, animals, food precincts – you name it! However, this can also mean exposure to a huge amount of germs and bacteria.

Think about all the things your hands may touch at the Ekka – steering wheels of the dodgem cars, chains of the swings, patting the goats and feeding the chickens to name a few. Be sure to wash your hands with soap or use disinfectant or antibacterial hand sanitizer after each activity and before meals to avoid picking up any nasty germs that could make you ill. 

  • Be sun safe

Don’t be fooled by the winter months. With sunny days forecast for Brisbane for the rest of August, it is important for you and your family to take sun safety measures. Don’t forget to slip on sun protective clothing and sunglasses, slop on some sunscreen, and slap on a hat offering protective coverage to avoid sunburn and heat exhaustion during your big day out at the Ekka.

  • Stay hydrated

On a family day out, remember to stay hydrated and keep your water intake up. As always, it’s best to skip sugary drinks and instead, drink plenty of water. You are allowed to bring food and water into the showgrounds, so ensure you have enough water for you and your family. Drinking tap water is also located at several sites around the Showgrounds, so remember to fill up throughout the day.

  • Be aware of First Aid locations

If something goes wrong, it is useful to know the closest point where you can find medical help. At this year’s Ekka, there are three first aid locations which operate between 8am and 11pm daily:

  • Under the John MacDonald stand
  • Gregory Terrace
  • Sideshow Alley
  • Avoid car sickness

If you are travelling to the Ekka from out of town, some family members may get car sickness. On your way to and from the event, keep the car windows slightly open to let in a breeze and pack some healthy snacks in the car to help reduce nausea.

  • Wear appropriate shoes

You will be doing a lot of walking, so House Call Doctor recommends you wear appropriate shoes. If shoes are too tight, loose, or just don’t support your foot, extended physical activity can place stress on your feet, legs, and other joints which can contribute to pain and injuries. Plus, you’d hate to lose your sandals on one of the rides!

  • Pack the essentials

The House Call Doctor team have put together a checklist of essentials for you to pack this Ekka:

  • Water bottles
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Hats
  • Healthy snacks from home
  • Ear protectors for the little ones watching the EkkaNITES evening show
  • Baby wipes and tissues
  • Warmer clothing for the evening