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How to Have a Safe Trip at the Texas State Fair

big-tex

As October kicks off, it’s safe to say summer is officially over. While it’s always a little sad to see summer go, for Texans, this seasonal transition has a definite upside, an event that makes summer’s end bearable: the State Fair of Texas.

With a revamped and better-than-ever “Big Tex” back in his rightful place, the 127th annual State Fair of Texas has officially kicked off for the 2013 season.

The gates of the historic Fair Park will be open from Sept. 27th to Oct. 20th, allowing for 24 days of fun-filled fair activities for the whole family. From fried foods to fair games to fun rides galore this place has it all, and it’s all there waiting for you to enjoy.

With all the excitement the fair brings, it’s also important to keep safety in mind to ensure that you and your friends and family have the most enjoyable and entertaining experience possible.

If you’re going to be one of the many thousands of people attending this year’s fair, know that though your safety and the safety of your fellow patrons is number one priority for the Dallas police, there will always be hazards out there for you to consider.

Amusement ride safety is one of those hazards. Last year, due to the flash fire that engulfed Big Tex, riders on the Statosphere were left suspended almost 200 feet above ground for over two hours.

“Explore."

In 2011, the Techno Power (or Re-Mix II), a ride at the Texas state fair, was involved in an incident during its stay at the San Diego County Fair. The ride malfunctioned, starting up again while passengers where trying to exit, causing serious injury to the ride operator and throwing one of the passengers.

1983 saw the worst amusement part ride tragedy when a rider was killed and another seriously injured while riding a ride named the Enterprise. An increased focus on safety of amusement park rides, including implementation of extra safety measures and monitoring, is happening to make sure it stays that way.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, most injuries from amusement park rides actually occur because of normal rider action (such as whiplash or a twisted back or neck) and not operator error or equipment malfunction, and most injuries like these are usually never serious.

Overall, though, there’s no need to panic and cancel your plans for visiting the fair due to safety concerns.

Dallas Deputy Police Chief Malik Aziz says “the State Fair is one of the safest places to be in Dallas every year and it gets better every single year.”

It’s good to know the Dallas police are making safety a top priority, but the Level I Trauma Center at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas wants you to know that there are always a few things that you can do to help ensure a safe and fun trip to the fair for you and your loved ones.

PREPARE AHEAD OF TIME

Know how you’re going to get there (where to park, where the DART lets off, etc.) and know what the weather’s going to be like so you can prepare accordingly.

DRESS FOR THE OCCASION

Wear comfortable shoes, lightweight, comfortable clothing, and don’t forget that sunscreen!

MEETING SPOTS ARE KEY

As with any event with a crowd, there is always the possibility of your party getting separated so have a designated spot to meet up with your group just in case.

HAVE AN EXIT STRATEGY

In the case of emergency, know how to exit the fairgrounds in a quick and safe manner (keep tabs on exit signs).

FOLLOW THE RULES

the safety guidelines for rides are there to keep you safe so it’s important to pay attention to them.

BE SMART

in general, of course, but especially in terms of alcohol consumption and dehydration. With the warm weather, it’s important to stay hydrated so the more water the better! Remember that alcohol can very quickly lead to dehydration.

KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN

look the ride over before you get on it. If it looks in bad shape cosmetically than chances are it’s also in bad shape mechanically.

About the author

Grace Viere

Grace is currently working as a Clinical Research Assistant at the Level 1 Trauma Center at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. She's a University of Missouri alum, and plans to work towards a PhD in Psychology.

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How to Have a Safe Trip at the Texas State Fair