Many families love to attend fairs, festivals, and carnivals with their babies and young children during the warm summer months. These events often include activities that are fun for the whole family. It is important to take the necessary safety precautions to ensure that everyone has a good time at these events, including you.
Do your research
Look up information about the event ahead of time so that you know what to expect. Check out the size of the event, the attractions and vendors that it includes, how the parking works, and whether or not strollers are allowed. Everyone in the family will be less stressed and better prepared if there are clear expectations. If your children are old enough to understand, talk to them about the event. For example, it can be helpful for them to know that it may be crowded and noisy and that they need to stay close to Mom and Dad at all times.
Be realistic about how long you should stay
The last thing that you want to do when you attend an event is set your children up to fail. Even if you regularly attended festivals multiple days in a row for long stretches of time each day before you had kids, your little ones will not be up for this type of schedule. Plan to avoid the busiest parts of the festivities and to take breaks from the action as needed.
Pay attention to the weather and plan accordingly
Most likely the festival or fair will include a lot of walking. Make sure that everyone wears sturdy, comfortable footwear that is suitable for lengthy periods on your feet. Check the weather before heading out the door and choose appropriate clothing. If it is chilly or there is a good chance that the temperature will drop later in the day, dress in layers. Bring hats, and make sure to apply sunscreen.
Keep in mind that thunderstorms can spring up unexpectedly during the summer. Have a plan of action in place so that you can seek shelter at the event or make it back to your car in a timely fashion in case there is lightning in the area.
Make smart decisions about meals and snacks
You want to make sure that your children are not hungry during the event, but you also want to avoid having anyone getting sick from the rides. If there are carnival rides, plan to ride them before you eat anything heavy or greasy, such as corn dogs and funnel cake. If your kids need a snack before going on the rides, stick to lighter options such as crackers and popcorn.
Drink lots of water
If possible, bring in your own water. Most festivals charge a premium for beverages. You don’t want to skimp on the water because it’s expensive. Keep in mind that when you feel thirsty, you’re already getting dehydrated. Keep the water flowing while you’re at the event so that there is no risk of this happening.
Take measures to prevent separation
Identify the security guards and stations at the event and point them out to your kids. Equip your children with contact information. Keep a piece of paper with your name and cell phone number with each child that he or she can give to an adult if needed. Stick together as much as possible. Any time a family member separates from the group, there is a greater risk of someone getting lost.