Fun at The Fair
And A Few Tips to Keep it That Way
Summer has arrived and so has fair season. With the warm temperatures comes the opportunity to explore county and state fairs and festivals. These can be great adventures for the entire family, especially when you take the time to prepare before heading out. So before you race off to grab that deep-fried candy bar or spin yourself silly on the tilt-a-whirl, consider these tips:
Before leaving the house, consider what your day at the fair will entail. With the summer sun high above, be sure to lather on sunscreen and protect you and your family by wearing hats. With all the walking through grass, dirt and who-knows-what, it’s best not sport your most fashionable open-toed pumps, so wear comfortable shoes and clothes.
Pack your purse with necessary items, such as water and hand sanitizer. If you have little ones, throw in a small, quick snack (something healthier than elephant ears) and a diaper changing pad. Fair restrooms aren’t known for their pristine cleanliness, so plan ahead to protect your child when a bathroom break is necessary.
With all the commotion, a fun afternoon can suddenly turn into a panic moment if your little one gets separated from you. Let’s hope this scenario never happens, but just in case it does, take a few precautions.
First of all, make sure your child knows your cell phone number and make sure your phone is turned on. If your child is too young to memorize your number, consider making a bracelet using number beads to spell out your phone number, or write your number on a piece of paper and pin it inside your child’s clothes.
Be sure to take note of what your child is wearing that day, so if you should need assistance locating her, you can describe her attire. Better yet, if you have a camera phone, snap a picture of her before heading out.
Once you get to the fair, choose a meet-up location should you get separated. Look for a large, standout structure that is visible and easy to locate. Also explain to your child that if you do get separated, he should find a police officer or other safe person to help him.
Ride the Rides
What’s a fair without a few rides? Before putting your child onto a ride, be sure to respect the height and weight designations, and only choose to put your child on the ride if she is the right size. Use the safety gear that is provided, whether that is a seat belt or protective bar.
Even if the child meets the height and weight requirements, be careful where you place your child on the ride. For instance, on a ride that spins a lot, do not place a smaller child in a location where those riding with her could be forced up against her, pinning her to the side.
Remember, as the parent, you have a right to refuse any ride. If something looks shoddy or unsafe, use your best judgment and move onto a better option.
Visit the Animals
Cows, bunnies and chickens, oh my! What kid doesn’t like seeing the animals? While animals are a big part of county fairs, use a few precautions when checking out the exhibits. Always ask before touching any animal and do not feed them. Sure, those bunnies might be cute and cuddly looking, but don’t place fingers or other objects inside the animals’ cages. Kids are sure to be excited when seeing the animals, but remind them to be calm and quiet. Sudden, loud noises can startle animals, which is another reason to keep a safe distance from livestock especially.
Remind your child to not touch his face or mouth, especially if he has touched the animals. Clean his hands promptly. If soap and water aren’t available, use the hand sanitizer you packed before heading out of the house.
With a bit of forethought, your time at the fair is sure to be a fun-filled day of memory making and cotton candy eating. So don’t forget to pack the antacids as well!