The excitement of high-speed endurance races is enough to entice any NASCAR fanatic. With race cars zinging around at breakneck speeds, the attraction is understandable.
But is it safe for pregnant individuals to attend the race? After all, these races often take place on warm days and aren’t particularly quiet.
So, if you’re pregnant, can you safely attend a NASCAR race?
Let’s find out.
Is A NASCAR Race Safe For A Pregnant Woman?
If you’re pregnant and hoping to attend a NASCAR race, there are a few things you should consider. NASCAR races can be hot, humid, and loud, so it’s essential to carefully consider whether attending is safe or not. While NASCAR races are a mite quieter than drag races, here are a few things to consider before attending.
Various NASCAR races take place in states known for heat and humidity, including Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and other southern states. While the weather varies from race to race, some races occur in the sweltering heat. When combined with a high humidity level, the heat becomes nearly unbearable, making it feel much hotter than it actually is.
The scorching heat and humidity aren’t ideal, especially for pregnant women. The humidity inhibits the body’s ability to sweat, as the moisture on the skin evaporates very slowly, if at all. Even if the humidity level is low, high temperatures can cause dehydration faster than you might think, making it dangerous for a pregnant mother.
Various studies outline how dangerous heat can be for a pregnant woman, with several connecting the dots between heat and the following:
- Preterm or early-term birth
- Low and decreased birth weight
- Harmful newborn stress
Of course, you can always bring an umbrella for shade or leave the seating area when you feel like you’re overheating, but it’s essential to proceed with caution. If the race takes place on a scorching day with a high humidity level, attending at all might be a bad idea, especially if you’ll be sitting in direct sunlight.
NASCAR races aren’t a quiet occurrence. The cars whizzing around the track generate a considerable amount of noise, with some races reaching up to 140 decibels. Of course, the sound is somewhat dampened by the time it reaches the stands, so spectators rarely experience more than 115 decibels from their place.
For comparison, a chainsaw operates at around 115 decibels, and a rock concert hovers at about 120 decibels. A regular conversation is approximately 60 decibels, while a motorcycle engine is about 95 decibels when running. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), noises above 70 decibels for a prolonged period can begin to damage your hearing.
But what about your baby? Are loud sounds dangerous during pregnancy? Since you can’t put earmuffs or earplugs on your child during pregnancy, it’s important to understand safe limits.
According to experts, you should ideally stay away from loud noises and prolonged noise during pregnancy. Excessive noise can lead to stress, which can trigger changes in your body that may affect your developing baby.
Some experts advise pregnant women to steer clear of noises louder than 115 decibels, as it could be harmful. However, experts can’t outline what noise levels are safe during pregnancy, as they don’t always know what causes hearing problems in babies. To play it safe, it might be best to steer clear of excessive, prolonged noise exposure like those at a NASCAR race.
Consult Your Doctor
Ultimately, you should consult your doctor. While we can supply information about the potential risks of attending a NASCAR race during pregnancy, checking in with your doctor before attending is essential.
Your doctor can evaluate the situation using factors specific to you (high-risk pregnancy, etc.) and provide a solid answer for you to work with.
Risk Reducers While Pregnant At A NASCAR Race
If your doctor gives you the green light to attend a NASCAR race, it’s crucial to be careful and proceed thoughtfully. Here are a few tips to reduce risk as you enjoy the thrill of watching the race:
- Stay hydrated: Water, water, and more water! The heat and humidity can quickly lead to dehydration, so stay on top of your hydration. Drink plenty of water to ensure you don’t become dehydrated, which can be dangerous for you and your baby.
- Pay attention to your body: If you begin to feel nauseous, dizzy, or otherwise ill, don’t disregard your body’s warnings. Seek a cooler, shaded location, and drink plenty of water. If you continue to feel sick, seek medical assistance.
- Find shade: The heat can quickly cause you to overheat, which can present a risk to your baby. So, if possible, find shade. To help manage the heat, you could even bring a mini handheld fan for comfort.
- Keep noise to a minimum: NASCAR races are noisy, producing up to 140 decibels as the cars whip around the track. While the noise is dampened by the time it reaches you and even quieter by the time it reaches your baby, try to avoid getting too close. If your area is too loud, try to find a quieter place to watch the excitement.