Enjoying the County Fairs Safely This Summer

One of the best things about living in Nebraska in the summer is visiting the county fairs. There are so many wonderful things to see and do, and so many delicious foods to smell and taste. The experiences are endless and often provide happy memories for years to come. But many people don’t realize that there are hidden dangers at the fair. Fair animals can be fun to watch and sometimes handle, but they might carry harmful germs that can make us sick. Also, the July and August heat can dehydrate us quickly and if we are not careful we can easily get sunburned. By this time of year the mosquitos are out in full force and seem to be everywhere, especially around where the animals are. With all this in mind, please take a minute to read some safety tips. Following these tips could help keep the fairs from becoming bad memories.

  • Don’t take food or drink into animal areas or petting zoos. Don’t put anything in your mouth while in the animal areas.
  • Don’t take toys, pacifiers, cups, baby bottles, or strollers into animal areas.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and running water before and after being around animals. Animals can carry germs that make us sick.
  • Be sure to wash your hands before eating or drinking, or putting anything in your mouth.
  • Drink plenty of water if you are spending time outdoors in the heat. Avoid alcohol and drinks with large amounts of caffeine or sugar.
  • Wear sunscreen when you are outside. Reapply every 2 hours. Use a sunscreen with at least a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or more.
  • Avoid mosquito bites and wear insect repellent or lightweight clothing that covers your arms and legs.
  • When you see the local farmers with fruit and vegetable stands, take a look at their products and try something healthy.

For any questions about good habits around animals or staying healthy at the fairs and festivals, contact Four Corners Health Department by phone at (402) 362-2621 or toll free 877-337-3573, and by email at info@fourcorners.ne.gov. Visit the Four Corners website at www.fourcorners.ne.gov. Be sure to stop at the Four Corners booth at the Butler, Polk, Seward, and York County Fairs.