There's something timeless about state fairs, and for many families, they are a favorite annual tradition. The State Fair of Texas is the longest-running in the nation – as well as one of the largest – meaning there is a lot for kids to explore. Amidst all the food, fun and activities, it's important to keep safety top of mind. Here are a few tips to keep kids happy and healthy during your trip to the fair.
1. Plan ahead
Before your visit, take a look at the fair ground map to familiarize yourself with major landmarks. It is also helpful to know your child's height and weight for ride guidelines – there's an entire 'Kidway' ride section that younger kids are sure to love. Make sure to check the weather beforehand so you can dress accordingly and comfortably. Don't forget to apply sunscreen to protect skin from harmful UV rays.
2. Designate the adult in charge
Will you be taking a large group of kids with fellow parents? If so, establish who is in charge of each child or group of children ahead of time. Make sure the kids know who their chaperone is, too. Since the fair is full of stimulation, make an extra effort to limit distractions and keep children in sight at all times.
3. Know where your child should go if they get lost
Make a plan with your child of what to do if he or she gets separated from you or the group. In addition, stop by any information booth at the fair to pick up a free Children's Health℠ wristband for your child. Write your child's name and contact information on the wristband. Fair staffers know to look for the wristband of a lost child to help reunite them with their family.
4. Stay hydrated
Bringing coolers into the State Fair of Texas is permitted, which means you can stock up on water bottles. It's important to drink lots of water to avoid dehydration through all the sun, walking and activities.
5. Keep hands clean
Proper hand hygiene is the number one way to prevent the spread of germs. Encourage children to wash or sanitize their hands throughout the day, especially after touching animals, using the restroom or before eating food. Wash with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer is another great option, especially when you're on the go. Apply to the palm of one hand, rub over both hands and let dry.
With a little planning and a few simple precautions, your trip to the state fair is sure to be a memorable experience. Don't forget to stop by the Children's Health Barnyard for an up-close experience with a variety of farm animals.
Photo credit: Kevin Brown/State Fair of Texas
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