From the Source: Keeping Your Family Safe at Local Fairs

We talked to Ann Marie Magnochi, the Entry Department Manager at the Dane County Fair, for a few best practices on how to keep you and the kids safe at local and county fairs. See her tips below.

Summer time means fair time! For most adults, the county fair brings back nostalgic memories of showing off prized 4-H or FFA projects and warm summer nights with friends, while a mention of the fair lights up children’s eyes with thoughts of carnival rides, baby animals and sweet treats. County fairs offer fun and entertainment for all ages and backgrounds!

To ensure you and your family have a fun-filled and enjoyable experience at the fair, we encourage you to keep a few things in mind:

  • Ask questions! Not sure what breed of cow that is, if the pig a boy or a girl, why the horses get baths? The best way to find out is to ask our exhibitors. 4-H and FFA members are happy to answer your questions about their projects, what they have learned and why they love what they do. Don’t be shy; inquire away!
  • Always ask before petting an animal. Don’t assume animals are accustomed to little bodies, strollers, and strangers. Always ask before approaching or petting an animal you don’t know, and never approach from behind. Not only will this keep you safe, but it will also help to keep the animals and their handlers safe too!
  • Wash your hands. If you visit the Kiddie Farm or animal exhibits, kids and adults alike are encouraged to wash their hands afterwards with hot, soapy water.
  • Keep food and drink outside. Even if you were raised in a barn, fair attendees are encouraged to keep food and drink outside animal exhibit areas.
  • Be aware of your surroundings. The fair is a fast-paced whirlwind of fun and entertainment. Be sure to stay cognizant of your surroundings. Are you standing in the entrance to the milking parlor where cows need to walk, or near the exit of the show ring with horses coming and going? Stay aware of where you are in relation to animals and exhibitors.

family safe at local fairs

Photo credit: Phil Roeder / Foter / CC BY