GREENVILLE – The tents are going up, animals are getting baths and you can almost smell the funnel cakes; nine days and nights of rides, exhibitions, grandstand entertainment, 4-H shows and food, providing those who attend a marvelous time at the great Darke County Fair! To insure that you continue to have a marvelous time, the American Red Cross offers these safety tips for fairgoers:
Be aware of the animals around you and their environment. Cows still kick, horses still bite, chickens still peck-even if they are on their best “fair” behavior. If your child isn’t growing up with livestock, talk to them about petting, standing, too, close to animals and respecting their space. Even if your child is raised in an environment where they are used to animals, animals, not their own may respond differently than what they are used to dealing with and the livestock at the fair, is out of their normal environment.
When allowing older children to enjoy the fair independently, make sure you meet up with them frequently, which will allow them their fun, but also allow you to keep tabs on any ongoing situations. Make sure that children coming to the fair alone have a way to contact you at all times. In case of an emergency or if any medical treatment is needed, children under 18 will need a parent’s or guardian’s signature to be released from emergency medical services care.
Establish with your younger children what do to if they become separated from you and “you” become lost. Tell them, who they should ask for help, where to go, who can they trust and how to deal with strangers. The Red Cross maintains a comfort station near EMS and Sheriff at the North End of the grandstands. This makes an excellent meeting place.
Carry with you a compact “first-aid kit” consisting of Band-Aids, pain relievers, emergency phone numbers, and antacids. Sunscreen is also a commonly forgotten item when attending the fair.
Pace yourself-there is plenty of fair and the time to enjoy it. Especially with hot weather, make sure that you drink plenty of water before you arrive. There are a variety of comfort and respite centers across the fairgrounds, stop in for water and rest your feet. Be aware of heat exhaustion symptoms, especially in the very young and the elderly who are the most susceptible.
For more information on family safety contact the American Red Cross Northern Miami Valley Ohio Chapter at 548-1002 or go online to www.redcross.org./NMVO.