This time of year, a trip to the pumpkin farm is a must for many people. Whether it’s a field trip for school or a weekend trip with family and friends, there’s always plenty to do.
Today’s pumpkin farms are even more exciting than when my parents took my brother and me. Our adventure was journeying through the pumpkin patch looking for the perfect one and cutting it off the vine. Fast forward to today and kids can enjoy corn mazes, bounce houses, haunted houses, pumpkin cannons, and petting zoos.
Unfortunately, for some families, a great day at the pumpkin farm leads to sick kids. Many farms have petting zoos and concession stands. The great thing about the concession stands is that they sell a variety of food and drinks. However, if your kids forget to wash their hands after spending time with the animals, their tummies might get upset.
Here are some tips to keep your family healthy and safe the next time you visit your local pumpkin farm.
1. Hand sanitizer is essential. Take along a bottle of hand sanitizer. Apply the hand sanitizer after you leave the animal petting and feeding area. Apply it again before eating.
2. Visit handwashing stations. Some farms have handwashing stations. If the farm you’re visiting has them, make sure to stop by after visiting with the animals and before eating your lunch. While hand sanitizer is a convenient alternative, washing your hands with soap and water is best.
3. Keep your picnic lunch in the car. Many families load up their strollers or wagons with all the essentials for the day and head out on their journey. It’s best to keep your food and beverages out of the animal areas. Consider keeping your food and beverages in the car until your family is ready to take a break. Don’t forget the ice!
4. Park the stroller. Instead of taking your stroller into the animal area, look for the stroller parking lot and park it. This will help keep germs from contaminating the stroller, bottles, pacifiers, and other items you have.
5. Supervise your children. When my kids were young, I made numerous trips to the pumpkin farm with my family and friends. There’s plenty of fun and excitement for people of all ages. Do your best to stay focused and keep an eye on your kids. Especially small children who are prone to touching their faces and putting their hands in their mouths.
6. Respect the animals. Most of the animals are probably used to the commotion and love having visitors. However, here are a few things your kids should know.
- Approach slowly.
- Approach with their hand outstretched so the animals can smell them.
- Talk softly.
- Pet the animal(s) gently.
- If feeding time occurs while you’re visiting, stay out of the animal’s way. Like us, they love their food.
Do you have any tips or information you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you. Please share them in the comment box below.