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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Safety precautions essential for fun at 4-H County Fair

Friday, July 23, 2010

With the local county fair coming up next week, there will be a lot to see and do and lots of fun to be had.

Along with that fun, there are always health and safety precautions that need to be taken -- but just because you play it safe doesn't mean that you can't have any fun.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security has a hotline set up for unsafe rides and rides without permits. All rides should have a current permit issued by IDHS. If there is no permit on the ride, the permit has expired, or the ride looks unsafe, call (888) 203-5020 to report these rides.

Some other safety tips for rides are to keep all body parts within the ride and if you have long hair, keep the hair pulled up. Also, make sure to use the safety equipment that is provided for that ride and to stay seated until the ride comes to a complete stop.

People also need to know their physical conditions and limitations and not ride any rides that might aggravate any pre-existing conditions.

Greencastle Chief of Police Tom Sutherlin offered some safety tips for those going to the fair.

Sutherlin said car owners should make sure to keep vehicles locked when unattended, and to also make sure to not leave any valuables in clear sight. This will deter thieves from breaking into them.

Sutherlin also said pedestrians should remember to watch for oncoming traffic and to walk against traffic to avoid getting hit.

Even though the Greencastle Police will not be the main source of security at the Putnam County Fair, they will come and help out if necessary.

Doug Nally of the Putnam County Sheriff's Department said some of the issues he has seen in the past at the fair involve the traffic.

There are always lines entering and exiting the parking lots of the fairgrounds. Nally said there haven't been many reports of people attempting to break into unattended cars in the parking lot, that the biggest problem they see is people locking their keys in the car. He said there are trollies to help people get back and forth from the parking lots and to the fairgrounds.

Nally said there aren't very may occurrences of lost children. He said if parents do get separated from their child, the parents can go to the emergency services building and the fire department and others with radios will help to locate the missing child.

Every year, the Red Cross has a booth at the fair. Carol Stevens of the American Red Cross Wabash Valley Chapter shared some information about their booth at the fair.

The booth offers a safe haven from the heat, she said. They also offer bottles of water and cots if fairgoers need to take advantage of their services.

If anyone comes in suffering from heat stroke or any serious injury, they contact the emergency management building and allow the professionals to treat the individual.

Dr. Brian Dowen of the Putnam County Hospital emergency room also offered some tips to fairgoers on how to protect themselves against sunstroke and sunburn.

Dowen said to make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and sports drinks (the sports drinks help replenish electrolytes that have been lost through sweating), and to stay away from heavily caffeinated beverages as they dehydrate the body. He also suggested wearing light clothing.

To prevent sunburns, make sure to wear broad hats and to wear sunscreen also to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. Dowen said small children and the elderly are more susceptible to the heat, and to keep an eye on small children because they usually don't know how to communicate when they get overheated.

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