By Jen Edwards, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross
The nights are finally getting cooler, which means it’s time for the State Fair of Texas! Whether you’re interested in the football games, checking out the new cars at the auto show, or spending time on the Midway, it’s important to plan ahead so that you and your family can have a fun and safe time at the Fair.
Even though Fall is officially here, it’s still pretty hot and sunny during the daytime. Be sure to stay hydrated and take breaks when you can. That’s especially important if you’re not used to spending a lot of time in the sun!
Be sure to use sunscreen (don’t forget the kids!) and spend some time inside the buildings looking at the exhibits or in the shade when you can. Wearing a hat can also help prevent sunburn and overexertion.
Have a pre-arranged meeting place in case you get separated from your group is a great idea. Try choosing somplace other than Big Tex, since he’s in a large plaza full of people taking photos and shopping for souvenirs. Whether you pick the steps in front of Fernie’s Dock, the entrance of the Texas Discovery Gardens or The Old Mill Inn.
Besides the butterfly exhibit, auto show and livestock shows one of the things that most people look forward to is trying all of the crazy fried food creations. There are some great new options this year, but if you’re sharing with others in your group, be mindful of food allergies and sensitivities to make sure that your trip isn’t cut short by an allergic reaction.
If you’re taking your kids to the Fair, be sure to keep a close eye on them so they don’t get lost. If your child is too young to remember your mobile phone number, try writing your number on their wrist or arm using a Sharpie marker so that the police can call you and help get you reunited right away. At the State Fair, the police station is located between the Midway and the Gateway Pavilion.
Finally, stay aware of your surroundings. There is lots to see and do, plenty of photos to take, and probably quite a few Pokestops to visit, but don’t be too distracted by your phone. There are golf carts and trams driving around, children running around, uneven ground, etc. Download the Red Cross First Aid app to your phone, this will help you if someone in your group is injured at the Fair.
With a little advance planning, everyone can have a happy, fun and safe time at the State Fair of Texas. Enjoy!