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Parents, staff give tips for keeping kids safe during the Kern County Fair

Posted at 8:53 PM, Sep 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-22 23:53:37-04

The Kern County Fair is a large event filled with colorful sights and enticing smells.

That's part of what can make it a frightening place for parents with small children.

"They're excited so they just want to run to the next ride or to go see the attractions and everything," said Jennifer, a Bakersfield mom who was at the fair with her 5 children and their friends.

"They're easily, easily distracted," she said.

As the fair kicks off its 100th year, children being separated from their families is just something that happens.

"Maybe two or three times a day, and on the weekend a little bit more," said Mike Olcott, C.E.O. of the fair.

They always find their families, but the fair has been fine-tuning their process for keeping kids safe. They continue to have the "duck trail", painted yellow duck prints around the park that lead to the "lost children" building .

They've also added a wristband system in partnership with the Kern County Sheriff's Office. Kids can now get a wristband at the entrance with their parent's phone number.

"It has worked really, really well...we've been able to cut down the amount of lost children," Olcott said.

Despite the fair's countermeasures, Jennifer and her friend Laura, who were enjoying a day at the fair on Thursday, had some other ideas on how to keep track of their families.

"Maybe dress as a family?" Jennifer said. "Dress in the same colors so you can say if they get lost and the police ask what they are wearing, you can say the same thing."

The two moms also recommended that parents don't just drop off their kids, something they had seen a lot of.