Public Information Officer Paige Pavalone with the Missoula County Sheriff's Office has a prediction. You will probably lose track of a child sometime during this year's Western Montana Fair.

Pavalone said on Tuesday, the fair's opening day, that a little advance planning will keep the panic to a minimum when moms and dads lose tracks of kids at the fairgrounds.

"Every year when we have the fair, a ton of kids get separated from their parents," Pavalone said. "Sometimes we get five to seven missing children per night. Here's what to do ahead of time. Take a photo of your kids before you drop them off at the fair, so you'll know exactly what they're wearing. Then, set up a time and a location where you should meet, it could be by the Ferris Wheel in a hour. Also, make sure they know where the security office is located, and that they can always talk to a law enforcement officer, either a county deputy or a city police officer."

Pavalone said to be prepared for the inevitable.

"You will lose a kid sometime during the fair, because kids run around and they get separated from their parents," she said. "So we just want to make sure that kids and parents are safely reunited before the end of the night."

Public Information Officer Paige Pavalone