Family Fun Twin Cities promotes many activities akin to the Minnesota State Fair. They are busy events. They are crowded. There is a lot of stimulation. The potential for getting separated from your child is real (just ask Anne about the time she lost her then-7-year-old at the Fair for an everlasting 2 hours). Bringing young children to the Fair can seem overwhelming or just plain crazy to some parents. We understand. We’ve toted our own kids to the Minnesota State Fair since they were infants To ease those worries, we’ve put together a few preparation tips on Minnesota State Fair Family Safety before you head out to the Get-Together
Before the Event
- ID Bracelets! Pick them up at Information Booths just as you are entering or at dozens of locations around the Fairgrounds, open 8am-8pm.
- Write YOUR name and phone number on a piece of paper pinned to the inside of their shirt or in your child’s shoe. Somewhere that is easily located, but not announcing to the world who you are and where you live.
- Coach your children whom to look for when they can’t find you. A police officer or a mom with children are great options. We don’t want them talking to any stranger, but if they can’t find us, they need some direction. It’s also important to remind them that if you become separated, they should stop moving immediately and stay in one place.
- Take a picture of the kids before you enter the Fairgrounds to help you remember what they are wearing. This can be important in case you need to give a full description of your child to State Fair police. I like to try to dress my kids in similar colors so they are also easier to spot as they weave through the crowds.
During the Event
- If you do become separated from your child, seek assistance immediately. The State Fair has a missing child protocol that they can implement much faster than trying to locate your own child in a panic. They are more effective, too.
- Keep in mind the places you have already been or things your child had been asking to do before you were separated. That information will be helpful for the searchers.
If you see a lost child
- Teach your child to approach the lost child by asking, “Do you need help finding your mommy?”
- Stay with the child in the spot where you found him while you seek help–security guards, fair workers, police.
- Reassure all the children that everyone is doing all they can to help and it won’t be long.
- If you can, stay for the resolution even if you aren’t needed. Your children will want to know if the child will be okay. Plus, it teaches them that many times others’ needs are more important than their own.
More safety tips
- Stay hydrated! Water is best (we’re betting this is a no-brainer for you). We bring along a large water bottle and refill it throughout the day at one of the many water fountains or water bottle refill stations throughout the Fairgrounds. Drinking water also helps us save money and can curb overeating.
- Lather the kids with sunscreen before you go. If you forget, the State Fair offers free sunscreen dispensers at the many information booths.
- For families with food allergies, the State Fair welcomes guests to bring in their own food and beverages.
Now It’s Your Turn. Do you have tips for Minnesota State Fair Family Safety? Have you had close calls? We want to hear how you handle safety concerns at crowded events.