Due to large crowds, fair officials prompt parents to have a plan
PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – With the Georgia National fair still in town and big crowds still coming out, fair officials want you to know what to do in case you and your child separate.
“Well I mean it’s just crowded,” said fair-goer Tia Young. “It’s an easy thing for it to happen,” said executive director Stephen Shimp.
With so much to see and do at the fair, it only takes a second to separate from a loved one.
“Parents get distracted, they’re smelling the food, they’re looking at the rides,” said Shimp. “Before you know it, someone stepped away from the other one,” Young added.
Shimp says because of the large crowds this year–upwards of 40,000 people expected on just Monday–they’ve chosen a proactive approach.
“When you enter the gate the first thing you’ll see is a gazebo and inside are ID bracelets. You can write your cellphone number on there, so if your child does get separated from you there’s a phone number,” he continued.
Tia Young says her motherly instincts kicked in at the fair when she saw a little boy sitting by himself near the clock tower.
“I’ve always told my kids when we came to the fair, if we ever get separated just go to the clock tower and that’s what I thought–‘well, maybe somebody told him to go the clock tower’.”
That clock tower doesn’t just tell time.
“Our clock tower is the hub of the fair grounds–all the information, our EMA, police services, fire services– all of that is right here,” said Shimp.
It tells you where you need to go if you’re not where you need to be. It’s highly recommend to use those ID bracelets if you have children who aren’t able to remember a phone number by heart.
The Department of Justice reported in 2005 that at least 300,000 children were temporarily separated from a parent of caregiver for at least an hour.