The Department of Health is reminding everyone participating in the papal events this weekend in Philadelphia to follow some important tips to help keep themselves and their loved ones safe and healthy.
“With more than one million extra visitors possibly taking part in the World Meeting of Families papal festivities, it will be important for everyone to follow key health tips,” said Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy. “This is especially true for older people, individuals with disabilities or access and functional needs, and parents of young children who may require a little more planning to ensure an enjoyable, safe experience.”
The Department of Health has some basic tips for individuals travelling to the Papal Visit festivities in Philadelphia, including:

  • Be Prepared to Travel: No matter how you’ll be getting to or from Philadelphia, you should plan for traffic congestion in all directions – even many miles away from the city.
    • With this in mind, stock up now on items you’ll need to make yourself and your loved ones more comfortable during your travels, including:
      • Water and snacks that won’t spoil;
      • Hand sanitizer;
      • Small first aid kit;
      • Extra medications and medical supplies; and
      • Supplies for your family and service animals.
    • If you or your loved ones have circulation issues, sitting for long periods of time could be dangerous. To stay healthy, follow these tips:
      • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and avoiding salty foods.
      • Do NOT cross your legs or ankles.
      • Do ankle rolls/exercises or flex your feet.
      • Talk to your health care professional before making the trip, as he or she might provide additional recommendations, such as wearing compression stockings or taking baby aspirin.
    • Make sure your cell phone and other electronic devices are fully charged before you leave home, and don’t forget your charger(s) and extra batteries.
  • Be Prepared to Walk: Sections within the Francis Festival grounds will be closed to vehicles.
    • Wear comfortable shoes, including diabetic shoes or loose-fitting socks if recommended by your health care provider.
    • Wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing.
    • If you need a walker, cane, or crutches, you should use them for this trip.
    • Wear sunscreen.
  • Be Prepared for Large Crowds
    • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
    • Do not wear any dangling items that could become tangled or pulled.
    • Try to walk around crowds – not through them.
    • If you are caught in a tight crowd:
      • Stay on your feet. Don’t sit down or bend over – you might get stepped on!
      • If you fall, get back on your feet quickly.
      • Move with the flow and walk towards the edge of the crowd.
  • Be Prepared for an Emergency
    • Keep your batteries charged.
      • Charge batteries of your cell phone and any powered equipment you use (such as wheelchairs, oxygen generators, communication devices, etc.).
      • Bring extra batteries if possible.
      • Bring chargers for your cell phone and equipment.
    • Print and fill out a health information card for each member of your family. This will help first responders assist you during an emergency. Include all of your current health information. Find the Health Information Card online at:
      • Attendeees with medical conditions are encouraged to also have their physician’s telephone numbers readily identifiable on their cell phones.
 For more health tips and Papal Visit preparedness information, including the location of first aid tents, medical stations, and water stations, visit