Be Safe and Have Fun at the Fair!

Few events draw as many people to Great Falls as the Montana State Fair. This year at the fair, have fun, and don’t forget to make sure that your health is a top priority by following these simple tips.

 Protect Yourself from Germs

Bacteria and viruses circulate more easily in large crowds. Practice prevention habits, like hand washing and covering your coughs and sneezes, to keep illness at bay. It’s a good idea to carry hand sanitizer with you for times when you can’t wash your hands with soap and water; use it before and after eating, after using the restroom and after touching animals or other things that many other people may have come in contact with. If you feel ill, stay home to avoid spreading your illness to others.

Animals can spread illness-causing viruses to humans. You don’t need to avoid visiting the animal exhibits, just take some simple precautions and be sure to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water right after visiting the animal area. Click here to learn more.

Beat the Heat

Hot pavement and large crowds of people, combined with the mid-summer heat, can leave you feeling overheated. Avoid dehydration and overheating by drinking plenty of water and trying to time your visit to the fair during the cooler parts of the day. The sun is sure to be strong, and shade may not always be available, so wear at least a 15 SPF sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. Learn more about heat stress and sun safety here.

Avoid Food Borne Illness

The food is many people’s favorite part of the fair. But how do you know what you’re eating is safe?  Cascade City-County Health Department’s Sanitarians help ensure that food is safe is by inspecting each vendor’s stand and issuing permits that show the vendor has learned and understands safe food practices, possesses adequate refrigeration, has hand washing and dish washing stations and has passed other safety and cleanliness standards. You should look for a temporary food permit at each booth you visit and if you don’t see it, ask the vendor.

You can also protect yourself from stomach bugs and other illnesses by making sure you and your family practice good handwashing techniques and habits.