- Associated Press - Monday, August 31, 2015

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (AP) - Of the nearly 2 million people who will visit the Minnesota State Fair this year, a few thousand will wind up seeking help at first-aid stations.

Many fairgoers could avoid the need for medical attention if they followed a few simple tips, according to the medical professionals who work those stations. Fair health officials suggest wearing sturdy shoes instead of flip flops because they cause blisters, drinking plenty of water and seeking shelter from the sun to avoid getting overheated.

The two first-aid stations on the fairgrounds offer free health care from registered nurses, paramedics and emergency medical technicians, the St. Paul Pioneer Press (https://bit.ly/1IyMIgl ) reported.

Over the past few years, the stations have treated between 3,000 and 4,000 people at each of the 12-day events.

“Often, those people are coming in and saying, ‘I have a blister on my foot from walking the 350 acres of the Fairgrounds in flip-flops,’” said Kent Griffith, a registered nurse and the clinical supervisor for Regions Hospital’s emergency medical services, which has staffed the Fair’s first aid stations for several years.



First-aid workers also see lots of people with headaches and upset stomachs, which can be treated with over-the-counter medicines, and dizziness cause by high temperatures.

“We have a couple of beds where we can lay them down, get them rested and recovered and even hook them up to an EKG, if that’s needed,” Griffith said. “Hopefully, they stabilize and we say, ‘Are you ready to go back to the Fair?’ The answer is usually, ‘Yes, thanks, and I hope I won’t have to see you again.’”

Griffith also suggests eating healthy food in between servings from the fair’s extensive fried menu.

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Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, https://www.twincities.com

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