Have Fun and Stay Healthy at the Fair!

posted by Colette Rossiter on Friday, September 10, 2021

Are you planning a visit to the Clay County Fair? I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t get excited for our local, one-of-a-kind, amazing fair!  

Who doesn’t love the exhibits, the rides, the abundance of fun foods, and, of course, the animals? It’s safe to say we touch A LOT of things at the fair! My hope is that everyone who visits the fair takes home wonderful memories…NOT a case of diarrhea or vomiting! So let’s talk hygiene.

Hand washing seems like common sense. But it’s even more important when visiting the fair.  

Animals in exhibits and in the barns can be really fun and educational, but can also put you and your family at risk of germs that can make you sick, including E. coli and salmonella. If you have children, you will likely spend time in Grandpa’s Barn. What a great setting to interact with farm animals! Here’s a list of recommendations when visiting animal venues:

  • Thoroughly wash and dry everyone’s hands after petting animals and before eating. Grandpa’s Barn has three sinks in the building for washing with soap and water. Even if you don't interact with any animals, germs can still be spread from surfaces around the exhibits. 
  • Don’t take food or drink into animal areas.
  • Try to monitor your child’s hand-to-mouth activity (easier said than done, I know). Thumbs, fingers, or objects in their mouths when around animal areas can transport germs quickly. Once in the mouth, these germs can multiply and cause illness. Children are most vulnerable to these types of gastro-intestinal illnesses, some of which can be very serious.
  • Leave strollers, toys, pacifiers, and cups outside animal exhibit areas. If you do wander through a livestock barn with your stroller, know that animal waste can get on the stroller and, you guessed it, it goes home with you. So it’s a good idea to clean off the wheels of your stroller when you get home.
  • Always supervise children around animals. Children 5 years old and younger should not have any contact with reptiles, amphibians, or live poultry because those animals are more likely to make them sick, according to the CDC.

In addition to the sinks in Grandpa’s Barn and all public restrooms, the fair has added extra hand washing and hand sanitizing stations throughout the fairgrounds this year.  

Please be mindful that the COVID-19 pandemic is not over and we should all do our part to limit potential exposures to the virus. That includes masking when indoors, around crowds, and distancing yourself from others as much as possible.  

Need help locating a place to wash up? Grab the Daily Activity Guide on your way into the fair. Not only will the guide list the fun exhibits, shows, and entertainment for the day, but a map of the grounds will show you where all the hand washing stations and restrooms are located.

Enjoy the fair! And please…wash your hands!

  1. children
  2. covid-19
  3. handwashing
  4. wellness

About The Author

Colette Rossiter

Colette Rossiter, serves as manager for Spencer Hospital Community Health Services and Clay County Public Health. Colette has enjoyed the variety of responsibilities her nursing career has provided, yet has a passion for public health and safety.