UCHD, Protecting Your Health.


Monday, 12 September 2016 13:15

New Parent Services

Bringing a new baby home can be both joyful and exhausting. In Union County, we want all new parents to know you are not alone. The Union County Health Department offers a number of services to support parents as they face many new challenges. Many of these services are free, and all are designed to focus on you and your concerns about the health of your baby.

Breastfeeding Consultation

Free breastfeeding education and support from our Certified Lactation Counselor is available to all parents in Union County. We can provide guidance, support, or just answer your questions.  


Car Seat Safety

Free car seat safety checks are available to all parents, grandparents or caregivers in Union County. Free car seats are available for income eligible families. 


Developmental Screening

A free online child development screening tool is available to all families in Union County. The tool is quick, easy and a fun way for you to get to know your baby through a different lens.


Newborn Home Visit

 A free home visit from a registered nurse is available to all new parents. This visit is done before the baby is 8 weeks old. Our nurse will check both the health of the mother and baby and focus on any concerns you may have.


Nutrition Assistance

The Women, Infant and Chirldren (WIC) program provides nutritious foods that promote good health for pregnant women, women who just had a baby, breastfeeding moms, and children up to age 5. 


Prenatal Smoking Cessation

Free help is available to support your goal to quit smoking during pregnancy and after the baby is born. A tobacco treatment specialist is available to provide counseling to those caring for baby in the home. 


Safe Sleep 

Free Pack N' Plays are available for families in need of a safe sleep environment for their infant. Safe sleep education is available to all families.   

Published in In the News
Monday, 16 July 2012 19:23

What to Avoid at Garage Sales

Garages sales, yard sales and thrift stores can be full of great bargains. You can find all kinds of trinkets and treasures, but there are some items you should be weary of when searching for that amazing summer deal. Here is a public health perspective on six popular garage sale items.

1) Child Car Seats- Three public health cautions on this item: 1) Expiration, 2) History & 3) Recall. Many people do not know car seats have expiration dates. The expiration date is typically six or seven years for new seats and ten years for older seats. Expired car seats may not meet current safety standards and should not be used. You can find the expiration date stamped in the plastic on the back or bottom of a car seat or on its model number label. Even if a car seat is not expired, it may have been in an accident.  Most car seat manufacturers do not allow a car seat to be used after any type of accident, even if there is no visible damage. A final consideration is whether the seat has been recalled. Do not buy a car seat unless you are sure it is not recalled, this is true of newer seats as well as older seats. 

2) Bicycle or Motorcycle Helmets- As is the case for most safety equipment, it is important to know whether the item has ever been in a crash. Not all accidents result in visible damage to safety equipment. When you buy a second-hand helmet or other safety equipment, you run the risk of relying on a piece of damaged equipment to protect you. 

3) Cribs- There have been many recalls over the years on cribs. Some older cribs may have chipped paint or splintered wood. Additionally, older cribs may not meet safety standards now in place, such as spacing requirements between slats. Also pass on stuffed animals, bumper pads, and other soft items for the crib. Pediatricians now recommend infant sleep environments be kept free of soft items, which have been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

4)  Mattresses & Bed Frames- With bed bugs making their presence well known, use caution when buying mattresses and bed frames. Bed bugs can hide in very small crevices and are extremely hard to get rid of once they've made your home their home. Mattresses also can be full of mites, dandruff, sloughed skin and other remnants of their previous owner. 

5) Couches and Other Fabric Furniture- Same as with mattresses, these could be home to bed bugs. Before you buy check every seam for evidence of bed bug "spotting" (brown, black or reddish brown spots of dried fecal matter). 

6) Shoes- Adult shoes actually form to your foot. Thus, wearing someone else's broken in shoes could result in foot, joint and back pain. Make sure you check the sole and the insert of the shoe for wear and pressure marks.   


The bottom line when buying second-hand products is to think about the unknown. You don't know its history, how it has been treated, or how much it was used. This is especially true when considering baby items or safety products. When considering purchasing these types of items it is important to remember EXPIRATION, RECALL & HISTORY. For more information on recalled products visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Published in In the News
Wednesday, 11 July 2012 13:16

Open Burning

Summer time can often see an increase in open burning. Before igniting an outdoor fire, it is important to know Ohio's open burning regulations. Open burning is regulated by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Open burning can not only adversely affect air quality, it can also increase the risk for wild fires. 

Below is a pdf of Ohio EPA's open burning brochure.

icon open burn regulations

Published in Home
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 19:31

Car Seat Safety

Ohio's Child Restraint Law
Safety Recommendations
Car Seat Recalls
Car Seat Installation Program
Car Seat Distribution Program 
Children in cars

Car Seat_PhotoIs your child’s car seat safe? According to a survey conducted by Safe Kids USA, 96% of parents believe that they use their car seats correctly. However, research has shown that 73% of car seats are misused. Some of the most common misuse issues involve incorrect installation in the vehicle and improper car seat selection based on the child’s age, weight, and height.

Certified car seat technicians are available at the Union County Health Department to answer questions, check that car seats are properly installed, and assist with new installation. The Union County Health Department also participates in the Ohio Buckles Buckeyes (OBB) program sponsored by the Ohio Department of Health. The local OBB program distributes free car seats to low income families in Union County. For more information about our installation and distribution services, please see the Car Seat Installation Program or Car Seat Distribution Program sections.

Ohio’s Child Restraint Law

All Ohio children must be properly restrained every time they are in a vehicle. They must meet the following requirements until they are 15 years of age:

  • Every child who is less than 8 years of age or 4’9” tall must ride in a car seat or booster seat.
  • Every child who is 8 years to 15 years of age must be properly restrained with a seatbelt. 

Safety Recommendations

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following in regards to car seat use:

Infant CarrierInfants

Type of Seat to Use: Infant-only seat, Rear-facing convertible seat

Guidelines: Infants should ride rear-facing until they are at least 2 years of age or as long as their car seat allows.



Type of Seat to Use: Rear-facing convertible seat, Forward-facing convertible seat, Combination seat

Guidelines: Children should ride rear-facing until they are at least 2 years of age or as long as their car seat allows. Many car seats allow rear-facing use until 35 lbs. After your child reaches the rear-facing weight limit, they should be moved to a forward-facing seat with an internal harness. Many of these forward-facing seats witn an internal harness can accomodate children until 40-65 lbs. Please see your car seat instruction manual for more information.


BoosterSchool-age Children

Type of Seat to Use: Booster seat

Guidelines: Children should ride in a booster seat until they are 8 years of age or 4'9" tall.
To determine if your child is ready to move out of a booster seat, take the 5 Step Booster Seat Test.  


Seatbelt WebbingOlder Children

Type of Restraint to Use: Seatbelt

Guidelines: Children should ride in the backseat with a lap and shoulder seatbelt until they are 13 years of age.


Always review your car seat instruction manual and your vehicle instruction manual before installing your car seat.

Car Seat Recalls

Car seats are sometimes found to be unsafe and recalled by the manufacturer. Visit safercar.gov for a current list of recalled car seats.

Car seats also come with expiration dates. Generally car seats can be used for 6 to 8 years from their date of manufacture. Look for a sticker or imprinted date on the back of the car seat to determine if the seat is still safe to use. If the seat has expired, replace the car seat immediately.

Car Seat Installation Program

The Union County Health Department offers free car seat check appointments to assist with proper fitting and installation. Appointments take approximately 30 minutes per car seat. If possible, please bring the car seat instruction manual and the vehicle owners manual to the appointment. To schedule a car seat check appointment with a certified technician, please call the Union County Health Department at 937-642-2053. 

Car Seat Distribution Program

baby-in-car-seatThe Union County Health Department participates in the Ohio Buckles Buckeyes program sponsored by the Ohio Department of Health. This statewide program provides free car seats to qualifying, low income families. To qualify for a free car seat, the following requirements must be met:

  • Child must be eligible for the Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC) or have a Medicaid or Medicare card.
  • Child must not have previously received a free car seat from the Union County Health Department.

If your child qualifies for a free car seat, please call the Union County Health Department at 937-642-2053 to schedule an appointment with a certified technician.


Children in Cars

Little kids should never be left alone in a vehicle - even for a minute. Heat is much more dangerous to them than it is to adults. When left in a hot vehicle, a young child’s body temperature may increase three to five times faster than an adult's, causing permanent injury or even death. Learn how to protect your child and keep her safe in and around vehicles.

Please click on the following link for more information about heatstroke prevention for children in cars.

Children in Cars

Published in Safety