There are some potential dangers in your local pumpkin patch that you should know before you take the kids this year.
Autumn is a season that most people can’t wait for each year. It’s a season full of crisp air, crunchy leaves and a couple of holidays that wouldn’t be as much fun if they were any other time of the year. One of the most truly fall-worthy things a family can do together is to visit a pumpkin patch. Make it even more special by whipping up some themed treats to take along. I’m thinking Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies and Pumpkin Snickerdoodles. Love them!
Pumpkin Patch Safety Warnings
Going to a pumpkin patch is so much fun. There are every size and shape of pumpkins just begging to be plucked from the vine and brought home for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Like everything else parents do with their kids, there are safety concerns to consider and that’s what we’ll be sharing with you here.
There are ticks in the pumpkin patch.
Honestly, it’s easy to forget that there may be ticks in the pumpkin patch. The weather has a chill and long-sleeves abound, so it’s understandable. But make no mistake about it. There are ticks in the pumpkin patch and they may very well be carrying dangerous diseases.
One woman in Southern California went to a pumpkin patch a few years ago and wound up with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Here’s the warning she shared in her public Facebook post.
“After seeing all the cute pictures of families at the pumpkin patches, this is a reminder for everyone, When you go to these pumpkin patches and petting zoos and all those fun fall activities, wear pants, long socks and shoes! Make sure you check for tics! This was me 2 years ago after being bit by a tick and contracting Rocky Mountain spotted fever at a pumpkin patch. I Couldn’t walk, my whole body was in pain, my hair fell out, and I almost died. I’m still healing from all this. Don’t be dumb and wear flip flops like me. CHECK FOR TICKS!”
SOLUTION: Ues tick repellant spray beforehand, wear long sleeves and pants if possible. Definitely wear socks and shoes., not flip-flops. Don’t forget, light-colored clothes make it easier to see ticks.
Animals in pumpkin patches petting zoo may carry illnesses.
Some pumpkin patches have animals like sheep and goats that kids love to pet. Be careful. There is the potential for E. coli, cryptosporidiosis, salmonella, ringworm, and more. Fecal contamination is something you should keep in mind because that’s how diseases are passed in this situation between animals and humans.
In other words, the feed, the animal itself and other surfaces may have feces on or in them that you cannot see. When kids pet them or touch the ground and dirt where the animal is, and they then put their fingers in their mouths, an illness is born. Kids under 5, pregnant moms-to-be, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are more susceptible.
It’s not only those sort of “big” diseases that lurk there. Ringworm, contracted by direct contact with the animals, is a possibility as well.
SOLUTION: Take hand sanitizer with you and use it often. It’s a simple precaution, but it can really be a lifesaver.
Watch out for falls, scrapes, and other injuries.
Wandering through fields looking for the perfect pumpkin is a joy. Until someone falls and cuts their knee.
SOLUTION: Take a small first aid kit with you. At a minimum, have bandaids and anti-biotic gel with you at all times.
Speaking of falls, hayrides at the pumpkin patch can be very, very dangerous.
There is virtually no regulation for hayrides. Each farm can do it however they like for the most part. Accidents happen, rollovers happen, and sometimes death happens as a result.
SOLUTION: Make sure your family stays seated at all times. No smoking. Keep arms and legs inside. No playing or goofing around.
Scary storms can come up fast.
Even a mild storm can be dangerous if there is also lightning and high winds. In some parts of the country, storms may quickly develop into something serious, like a tornado.
SOLUTION: Check the weather before you go. If you get a hint that the weather is changing while you’re in the pumpkin patch, get to shelter as quickly as possible.
Here is a list of Pumpkin Patches near you.
The site Pumpkin Patches and More makes it easy to find the perfect patch. You can also do a simple search for pumpkin patches near me on Google. Enjoy the great pumpkin hunt!