Going to the Great New York State Fair?

September 2, 2015 Your Health

This is an event in our area that we always look forward to, and we are thrilled to be there again this year! Although we all have a great time at the fair, there are a few hidden health hazards to watch out for. Here are a few tips to help make your day at the fair fun, healthy and safe.

1. Amusement Rides

Amusement rides can be exciting, but participants who have health issues or do not meet the ride requirements are at risk for injuries. Before going on a ride, take a moment to read the safety instructions for that ride and ensure that you meet all the requirements.

A few reasons you may need to skip a ride include:

  • History of neck and back pain
  • The third trimester of pregnancy
  • Below the required height and weight
  • A structural abnormality that prevents adequate use of restraints

2. Animals at the Fair

The livestock exhibits are a great opportunity to be around animals and learn more about how they are raised. But with livestock comes manure, and with manure comes germs. To prevent the possible spread of infection, strollers and food should stay out of the animal barn. Also leave any pacifiers, sippy cups, and toys outside of the barn to prevent contamination of these items. Be sure to wash your hands after visiting with animals, especially prior to eating, and carry hand sanitizer with you throughout the day.

3. Walking

With so much to see and do at the fair, there is a lot of walking that is done throughout the day. While the exercise is great, there are also obstacles that can cause trips and falls if you aren’t careful. Here are few safety tips to prevent injury at the fair:

  • Wear close-toed shoes with good grips and good support.
  • Focus on walking while making your way through the fair and actively watch for hazards.
  • Avoid multi-tasking while walking in crowds (i.e. avoid texting and walking).

4. Treats at the Fair

No fair day would be complete without indulging in a few delicious treats! While it’s okay to enjoy a few snacks, remember to make healthy choices along the way. The key, as always, is moderation. Avoid too much unhealthy snacking throughout the day, and try to choose food items with relatively lower calories. Kettle corn is one of your best bets, as long as you opt for a smaller portion. Two cups of kettle corn contain about 140 calories. Cotton candy can be another option with 220 calories in a 2.1 ounce serving. If you are choosing a funnel cake or a hot fudge sundae, you may want to share with a friend. A funnel cake has 760 calories, and a hot fudge sundae has about 500 calories.

5. Staying Hydrated

If you’re feeling thirsty, a wine slushy might seem like a great way to cool down and rehydrate. But wine and other alcoholic beverages are diuretics, which are dehydrating. To rehydrate, keep a water bottle with you and refill it throughout the day at water fountains. With zero calories, water is a great way to stay well-hydrated and energized for the fair. If you do choose to drink alcohol, stay well-hydrated and drink responsibly.

6. Sun Safety

A sunny day makes for a great day at the fair, but it can also lead to a painful sunburn. Protect yourself with sunscreen and re-apply every two hours. SPF 30 is the recommended minimum, but use higher SPF for prolonged exposure or if you have fair skin. Make sure you’re using enough: it takes about two tablespoons of sunscreen to cover an adult’s arms, legs, neck and face. Don’t forget spots people often miss, like the ears and neck, and look for a lip balm with SPF to protect your lips. Wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses are also great sun protection measures. And try to rest in the shade whenever possible!