UCHD, Protecting Your Health.


Monday, 08 February 2016 13:58

Safety Town


Safety Town is a fun five-day safety awareness program that is designed for children entering kindergarten. Through the use of music, crafts, videos, books, community speakers and a child-sized town, the children are taught basic safety lessons that they will use for the rest of their lives.

Every day the children face new challenges as they learn the proper way to cross the street, buckle their seat belt, wear a helmet while riding a bicycle, and understand the basic traffic rules. In addition, we cover other safety lessons such as: stranger danger, water, fire, school bus, and how to dial 911.

Representatives from the local Division of Police, Sheriff’s Office, Division of Fire and others participate at Safety Town to make every day an unforgettable experience for the children. 


2017 Safety Town Registration Information:

Program Dates: Monday, June 19th – Friday, June 23rd with two separate sessions being offered:

Morning Session: 9 am—12pm

Afternoon Session: 1 pm—4pm

Location: Navin Elementary, 16265 County Home Road, Marysville, OH

Safety Town will be offered this summer to 2017 incoming Marysville Exempted Village School District kindergartners! The program will be limited to 150 students this year and registration will be conducted on a first come, first served basis. Registration will open on April 11, 2017. Parents can register their child online or can fill out a paper registration form at the Union County Health Department. If all the spaces become filled, a waitlist will be formed in case any spots become available. Your registration will not be considered complete until the liability waiver is signed and the registration fee is paid.

Registration fee: The fee for Safety Town is $30 and can be mailed or delivered along with the liability waiver to the Union County Health Department once your registration form has been submitted. The registration fee covers the cost of the 5-day program, a bicycle helmet, and t-shirt. Any checks should be addressed to the Union County Health Department. Payment by credit card can be accepted if you come in to the Health Department.

Please note: No child will be denied registration for Safety Town because of inability to pay.


Safety Town Volunteer Information


If you are looking for a fun opportunity to serve your community and work with kids, we would love to have you as a Safety Town volunteer! We need your help to make kids in our community safer and to create a fun, memorable experience. We are in search of volunteers to serve as Classroom Leaders and Youth Classroom Assistants to assist our Classroom Leaders. Classroom Leaders must be 18 or older and preferably have some experience working with children. Classroom Assitant positions are open to students who will have completed between 7th and 12th grade in Spring of 2017. Click on the links below to learn more about the positions and to apply.

2017 Classroom Leader Description              Classroom Leader Application

2017 Youth Volunteer Application

 Have Questions? Email safetytown@uchd.net

Safety Town Partners: Safety Town is a collaboration between the City of Marsyville Division of Fire and Division of Police, Marysville Exempted Village School District, Memorial Health, Mill Creek Cycle & Skate, the Union County Health Department, and the Union County Sheriff's Office.

   UC-Logo-City-Of-Marysville    Marysville Schools LogoMemorialHealth2color   MCCS logo igg lg        Sheriff NEW STAR 2   UCHD.logo.bw   

Published in Partnerships
Wednesday, 04 December 2013 15:59

In Case of a Power Outage

Winter brings snow, ice, and power outages.

  • Food can stay safe in an unopened refrigerator for four hours.  A freezer that is half full will hold for up to 24 hours and a full freezer for 48 hours. 
  • Use generators outside only at least 20 feet from windows/doors. Don't grill or heat with gas oven inside. Fumes can kill. 
  • Stay warm and take precautions to keep body temperatures from dropping.  


Read below for some great safety tips from the Centers for Disease Control about how to keep your family safe when the power goes out!

Winter Power Outage


Published in Emergency Preparedness
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 21:41

Winter Weather Health & Safety Information

When temperatures drop significantly below normal, staying warm and safe can be a challenge.

Winter Weather Health & Safety Tip Widget. Flash Player 9 or above is required.
Winter Weather Health & Safety Tip Widget.
Flash Player 9 or above is required.

Take Steps

Taking preventive action is your best defense against having to deal with extreme cold-weather conditions.


Before a Storm

During a Storm

After a Storm

Stay Safe & Healthy

Serious health problems can result from prolonged exposure to the cold such as hypothermia and frostbite.



Be Ready Winter Weather Infographic
Content provided by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Published in Emergency Preparedness
Tuesday, 24 September 2013 12:44

Food Safety Apps and Websites

"there's an app for that!"

Do you like technology?

Are you addicted to your smart phone?

Check out these website and app resources you can use to learn about food safety. 

Ask Karen icon



Ask Karen 
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service

Ask Karen provides 24/7 virtual assistance and tips on preventing foodborne illness, safe food handling and storage, and safe preparation of meat, poultry, and egg products. Mobile Ask Karen has all the same features as Ask Karen from your desktop or laptop. You can get answers to your food safety questions while at the grocery store, farmers market, in your kitchen, or while at your barbecue grill.

Using your Android or iPhone device, you can chat live with a food safety expert on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST, and the app provides the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline number (1-888-MPHotline) in case you want to speak to someone directly.You can share answers to food safety questions via email from Mobile Ask Karen.

Ask Karen


Website version here: askkaren.gov

              Mobile: m.askkaren.govEn Español

Get the App:

               iphone/ipad/ipod here:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ask-karen-from-usda/id439084571?mt=8

             Get the Android here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=askkaren.gov&hl=en


Perfect Picnic icon




Perfect Picnic

By Huminah Huminah Animation 

Perfect Picnic makes you master of your own picnic park! Fill your park with grilling stations, picnic tables, trees, flowers, fountains and more! Earn income by renting out barbeque spots and keeping your park visitors happy. But watch out -- if there’s one sure way to ruin a perfect picnic it is food poisoning! Yuck!

Get the iphone/ipad app here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/perfect-picnic/id643279606?mt=8




FoodSafety.gov is the gateway to food safety information provided by government agencies.

According to the Key Findings of the Food Safety Working Group:

“The federal government will enhance www.foodsafety.gov to better communicate information to the public and include an improved individual alert system allowing consumers to receive food safety information, such as notification of recalls. Agencies will also use social media to expand public communications.”

Check them our to find recalls, videos, charts, campaigns, and so much more!



Fight Bac icon




Partnership for Food Safety Education

  The Partnership for Food Safety Education’s mission is to end illness and death from foodborne infection in the United States.

The Partnership is a one-of-a-kind nonprofit that supports health educators and influncers by making their work more visible, collaborative, and effective. The Partnership works with an active network of 10,000 field educators, providing them with tools they can use to educate people about protecting their health through safe food handling and hygiene.  
Check them out to find tips, facts and figures, campaigns, kid-oriented messages, teacher resources, e-cards, and so much more!
Published in Food Safety
Friday, 06 September 2013 14:05


"An apple a day keeps the doctor away..." but make sure you are being mindful of safe food practices when you enjoy your favorite fruit or vegetable. 

Below you can find information from the FDA on how to select and serve raw produce safely. Enjoy!



Raw Produce: Selecting and Serving it Safely

photos of lab scientist, laboratory, produce, and inspector looking at fish

Food Facts
 From the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Available in PDF (3.5 MB).

También disponible en Español (Spanish)

WATCH a VIDEO on Seafood Safety WATCH a Video on Safe Handling of Raw Produce and Fresh-Squeezed Fruit and Vegetable Juices 

StrawberriesFruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. Your local markets carry an amazing variety of fresh fruits and vegetables that are both nutritious and delicious.  However, harmful bacteria that may be in the soil or water where produce grows may come in contact with fruits and vegetables and contaminate them. Fresh produce may also become contaminated after it is harvested, such as during preparation or storage.  Eating contaminated produce (or fruit and vegetable juices made from contaminated produce) can lead to foodborne illness, often called “food poisoning.”  As you enjoy fresh produce and fresh-squeezed fruit and vegetable juices, follow these safe handling tips to help protect yourself and your family.

Buy Right

You can help keep produce safe by making wise buying decisions at the grocery store.

  • Purchase produce that is not bruised or damaged.
  • When selecting pre-cut produce — such as a half a watermelon or bagged salad greens — choose only those items that are refrigerated or surrounded by ice.
  • Bag fresh fruits and vegetables separately from meat, poultry and seafood products when packing them to take home from the market.
Keep your refrigerator set at 40° F or below. Use a fridge thermometer to check!
  • Store Properly

Proper storage of fresh produce can affect both quality and safety.

  • Store perishable fresh fruits and vegetables (like strawberries, lettuce, herbs, and mushrooms) in a clean refrigerator at a temperature of 40°F or below. If you're not sure whether an item should be refrigerated to maintain quality, ask your grocer.
  • Refrigerate all produce that is purchased pre-cut or peeled to maintain both quality and safety.

Separate for Safety

Keep fruits and vegetables that will be eaten raw separate from other foods such as raw meat, poultry or seafood — and from kitchen utensils used for those products. Take these steps to avoid cross-contamination:

  • Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils and counter tops with soap and hot water between the preparation of raw meat, poultry and seafood products and the preparation of produce that will not be cooked.
  • If you use plastic or other non-porous cutting boards, run them through the dishwasher after use.

Prepare Safely

 When preparing any fresh produce, begin with clean hands. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water before and after preparation.

  • Cut away damaged or bruised areas on fresh fruits and vegetables before preparing and/or eating. Produce that looks rotten should be discarded.
  • Wash all produce thoroughly under running water before eating, cutting or cooking. This includes produce grown conventionally or organically at home, or purchased from a grocery store or farmer's market. Washing fruits and vegetables with soao or detergent or using commercial produce washes is not recommended.
  • Even if you plan to peel the produce before eating, it is still important to wash it first so dirt and bacteria aren’t transferred from the knife onto the fruit or vegetable. FDA has a poster, Wash Fruits and Vegetables (PDF: 1.6MB), you can print and display to remember to wash your fruits and vegetables before eating.
  • Scrub firm produce, such as melons and cucumbers, with a clean produce brush.
  • Dry produce with a clean cloth towel or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present.
Produce Safety: Lettuce

What About Pre-Washed Produce?

Many pre-cut, bagged, or packaged produce items like lettuce are pre-washed and ready-to-eat.  If so, it will be stated on the packaging.  If the package indicates that the contents are pre-washed and ready-to-eat, you can use the produce without further washing.

If you do chose to wash a product marked “pre-washed” or “ready-to-eat,” be sure to use safe handling practices to avoid any cross contamination.

Produce Safety: Sandwich

Sprouts: What You Should Know

Like any fresh produce that is consumed raw or lightly cooked, sprouts that are served on salads, wraps, sandwiches, and Asian food may contain bacteria that can cause foodborne illness. Unlike other fresh produce, seeds and beans need warm and humid conditions to sprout and grow, and these conditions are also ideal for the growth of bacteria, including Salmonella,Listeria, and E. coli.

Rinsing sprouts first will not remove bacteria. Home-grown sprouts also present a health risk if they are eaten raw or lightly cooked.

What can consumers do to reduce the risk of illness?

  • Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and persons with weakened immune systems should avoid eating raw or lightly cooked sprouts of any kind (including onion, alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean sprouts).
  • Cook sprouts thoroughly to reduce the risk of illness. Cooking kills the harmful bacteria.
  • When you’re eating out, ask that raw sprouts not be added to your food. If you buy a ready-made sandwich, salad, or Asian food, check to make sure raw sprouts have not been added

Questions and Answers about Fresh Produce

What is "organic produce"? 
Organic produce is grown without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.

Before a product can be labeled "organic," a government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer meets the U.S. Department of Agriculture's organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it reaches the supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.

What is ethylene gas - and how does it affect produce? 
Some fruits and vegetables - like bananas - naturally produce ethylene gas when they ripen. Oftentimes, such fruits and vegetables are harvested in the unripened state to preserve firmness and for long shelf life; they are later exposed to ethylene gas to induce ripening.

What does the "use-by" date mean on a package of fresh produce? 
"Best-If-Used-By- (or Before)" date is the last date recommended for peak quality as determined by the manufacturer of the product.

Why are wax coatings used on fruits and vegetables? 
Many vegetables and fruits make their own natural waxy coating. After harvest, fresh produce may be washed to clean off dirt and soil - but such washing also removes the natural wax. Therefore, waxes are applied to some produce to replace the natural waxes that are lost.

Wax coatings help retain moisture to maintain quality from farm to table including:

  • when produce is shipped from farm to market while it is in the stores and restaurants

  • while it is in the stores and restaurants
  • once it is in the home

Waxes also help inhibit mold growth, protect produce from bruising, prevent other physical damage and disease, and enhance appearance.

How are waxes applied? 
Waxes are used only in tiny amounts to provide a microscopic coating surrounding the entire product. Each piece of waxed produce has only a drop or two of wax.

Coatings used on fruits and vegetables must meet FDA food additive regulations for safety. Produce shippers and supermarkets in the United States are required by federal law to label fresh fruits and vegetables that have been waxed so you will know whether the produce you buy is coated. Watch for signs that say: "Coated with food-grade vegetable-, petroleum-, beeswax-, or shellac- based wax or resin, to maintain freshness."


Content provided by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Published in Health
Wednesday, 04 September 2013 20:31

Home Canning

Did you know  food safety recommendations change? 

         No one wants their doctor to write them a prescription from the 70's. Treatments for diseases such as diabetes and cancer have dramatically changed in the last forty years due to advances in science and technology.

Similarly, our knowledge of food safety has also advanced over the past few years. To be safe don’t use the same canning method your grandmother used.

  •  Always use current, up-to-date and scientifically tested canning techniques (outdated cookbooks and methods such as boiling or hot water canners can be deadly, since, they don’t protect against all foodborne illnesses)
  • Use pressure cookers with low-acid home canned foods to protect against botulism
  • High-acid foods such as fruits and tomatoes are safe to process in boiling water
  • Always inspect your jars before eating and never taste a jar’s contents to check for spoilage


Read below for more home canning food safety. 

You can also check out Home Food Preservation tips at the Ohio State University

 and http://ohioline.osu.edu/lines/food.html for additional fact sheets, cooking guides, and additional resources.

Published in Health
Tuesday, 03 September 2013 16:03

Food Safety

Food Safety is Important

 1 in 6  people gets food poisoning. CDC Vital Signs™:  www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns

Union County Health Department (UCHD) takes food safety seriously. The CDC estimates that each year, 1 in 6 Americans gets sick by eating or drinking contaminated foods or drinks. That adds up to 48 million people resulting in roughly 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths from food poisoning, also called foodborne illnesses every year! The majority of foodborne illnesses are preventable and harmful effects range from flu-like symptoms to hospitalization or even death.

Click here for Food Safety for Operators

Here at Union County Health Department we work hard to prevent and respond to food safety issues. 

Because no one wants foodborne bacteria as a dinner guest!


Protect those you love by following safe food practices at home:


FoodSafe Box


Foodsafety.gov logo for "Clean"CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often.

Illness-causing bacteria can survive in many places around your kitchen, including your hands, utensils, and cutting boards.

  • Wash hands the right way—for 20 seconds with soap and running water. Be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Wash surfaces and utensils after each use. Rinsing utensils, countertops, and cutting boards with water won’t do enough to stop bacteria from spreading. Clean utensils and small cutting boards with hot, soapy water. Clean surfaces and cutting boards with a bleach solution.
  • Wash fruits and veggies—but not meat, poultry, or eggs. Even if you plan to peel fruits and veggies, it’s important to wash them first because bacteria can spread from the outside to the inside as you cut or peel them.



Foodsafety.gov logo for "Separate"SEPARATE: Don't cross-contaminate.

Even after you’ve cleaned your hands and surfaces thoroughly, raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs can still spread illness-causing bacteria to ready-to-eat foods—unless you keep them separate.



Foodsafety.gov logo for "Cook"COOK: Cook to the right temperature.

While many people think they can tell when food is “done” simply by checking its color and texture, there’s no way to be sure it’s safe without following a few important but simple steps.

  • Use a food thermometer. Make sure food reaches its safe minimum cooking temperature. For example, internal temperatures should be 145°F for whole meats (allowing the meat to rest for 3 minutes before carving or eating), 160°F for ground meats, and 165°F for all poultry. Eggs should be cooked until the yolk is firm.
  • During meal times, while food is being served and eaten, keep it hot (at 140 ˚F or above). After meals are over, refrigerate leftover food quickly.
  • Microwave food thoroughly (to 165 ˚F). 


Foodsafety.gov logo for "Chill"CHILL: Refrigerate promptly.

Illness-causing bacteria can grow in many foods within two hours unless you refrigerate them. (During the summer heat, cut that time down to one hour.)



woman reporting foodborne illness on phoneREPORT: If you believe you or someone you know became ill from eating a certain food, please contact your local health department.

Health departments are an important part of the food safety system which rely on calls from concerned citizens. You can be an important part of discovering what foods made you and others sick.

  • If a public health official contacts you to find out more about an illness you had, your cooperation is important. Be willing to be interviewed about the foods you ate before you got sick; share your store receipts and give permission for stores to share the list of food you purchased from their store; and allow investigators to come to your home to collect any leftover food you may have.
  • In public health investigations, it can be as important to talk to healthy people as to ill people. Even if you are not ill, be willing to be interviewed about the foods you ate during a certain period of time.
  • REMEMBER: It's not usually the last meal you ate that made you sick. Foodborne pathogens usually require incubation times of 12-72 hours. 

For more information on preventing foodborne illnesses, please visit FoodSafety.gov, the federal gateway for food safety information.

Content provided by the CDC and FoodSafety.gov



*This September, UCHD is joining forces with forces with the National Restaurant Association, the Ad Council and the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, in partnership with the FDA and CDC to increase awareness of food safety in both food service establishments and homes in Union County.

 Look out for promotional ads throughout the community targeting consumers and food operators to be mindful of safe food handling practices and procedures. Continue to check our website as we keep you updated on ways to reduce your family's risk of foodborne illness.



Who's at Risk for Foodborne Illness- Know who in your family has the greatest danger of foodborne illness and take extra precautions. 

Produce- An apple a day keeps the doctor away..." be mindful of safe food practices when you enjoy your favorite fruit or vegetable. 

Home Canning- Up to date procedures  to ensure a high-quality, safe product that you and your family can enjoy.





Published in Home
Wednesday, 10 August 2011 00:45

Safe & Sound Coalition

Union County’s Safe & Sound Coalition works to prevent injuries in individuals of all ages by partnering with local law enforcement agencies, fire departments, schools, businesses, hospitals, and the community.

  • Traffic safety, child passenger safety, poison prevention, bicycle safety, pedestrian safety, conflict resolution and bullying are all topics that the coalition is working to address.
  • The Safe & Sound Coalition welcomes community members to have an active role in the coalition to prevent injury.

 The Union County Health Department serves as the lead agency and coordinator of the Safe & Sound Coalition because of funding made possible through the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

Please follow this link for specific traffic statistics in Union County:    Union County Stats




Published in Partnerships
Monday, 08 August 2011 01:51

Sports Safety

Traumatic Brain Injury (Concussions)

Overuse Injury

Heat-related Illness

Dental Injury

Skin Infections


Millions of children participate in sports and recreational activities every year in the United States. However, there are also millions of sports-related injuries occurring and unfortunately, these numbers are on the rise. It is estimated that more than 3.5 million children under the age of 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries annually.

The most common types of sports-related injuries in children are sprains, muscle strains, bone or growth plate injuries, and heat-related illness. Traumatic brain injuries (concussions) are also on the rise and it is estimated that 2 out of 5 traumatic brain injuries among children are associated with participation in sports.

Traumatic Brain Injury (Concussions)

Football photoA traumatic brain injury occurs when a bump, blow, or jolt to the head changes the way the brain normally works. This type of injury can occur during practices and games in any sport or recreational activity. It is estimated that 90% of traumatic brain injuries occur without the loss of consciousness. Children and teens are more likely to sustain a concussion and take longer to heal than adults. Direct medical costs and costs such as lost productivity due to traumatic brain injury totaled an estimated $60 billion in the United States in 2000.

 Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Bothered by light or noise
  • Feeling sluggish or groggy
  • Difficulty paying attention
  • Memory problems or confusion 

If a traumatic brain injury is suspected, the following steps should be taken:

  • Notify the coach or athletic trainer.
  • Get a medical checkup from a doctor or healthcare professional.
  • Allow adequate time to heal. 

For more information about traumatic brain injury prevention and treatment, take the free online Heads Up training from the Center for Disease Control. This training teaches coaches how to recognize, respond to, and prevent concussions in sports. Additional materials including the following fact sheets are also available. 

Click here to watch a great informational video from the CDC about youth sports concussions: 


Overuse Injury

girl playing_tennisAn overuse injury occurs when there is repetitive strain to a tendon, bone, or joint. As more children are playing sports year round, overuse injuries are becoming more common. Experts estimate that up to 50% of sports-related injuries seen in children are related to overuse. Common overuse injuries include tennis elbow, swimmer’s shoulder, and stress fractures.

The key to preventing overuse injuries is time off. It is recommended that athletes have at least two to three months off per year. In addition to proper rest and recovery time, there are also specific exercises that can reduce the risk of injury. To view videos of these exercises and learn more prevention tips, please visit Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Heat-related Illness

Child Drinking_WaterHeat-related illness is the leading cause of preventable death among high school athletes. These heat stroke deaths occur mainly during the summer months and at the beginning of conditioning for fall sports. Heat-related illness occurs when there is an excessive loss of fluids from the body often initially resulting in dehydration.

For more information about keeping athletes properly hydrated, please see the Hydration Recommendations from the Ohio High School Athletic Association.


Dental Injury 

MouthguardsWant an inexpensive way to make your athlete safer on the field? Pop in a mouthguard! More than 2 million teeth are knocked out every year in sports-related injuries. Mouthguards prevent injury to the mouth, teeth, lips, cheek and tongue and reduces the risk for concussions. According to the American Dental Association, wearing a mouthguard is the most effective way to reduce the incidence and severity of sports-related dental injuries. 

 Educational materials for your team can be downloaded and printed:

Skin Infections

WrestlingSkin infections among athletes are a serious concern for many sports. These infections are passed through direct skin-to-skin contact or by the sharing of sports equipment, clothes, and towels. If left untreated, skin infections can cause lost playing time, reoccuring wounds or rashes, permanent scarring, and in some rare cases they can be life-threatening.

The simplest ways to prevent these infections include:

  • Frequently washing hands with soap and water
  • Showering immediately after practices and games
  • Covering all open cuts and wounds with waterproof bandages
  • Washing clothes and towels immediately after practices and games
  • Establishing and implementing policies and procedures for cleaning and disinfecting shared sports equipment

To learn more about the prevention and treatment of skin infections among athletes, visit the Minnesota Department of Health. Additional materials including the following fact sheets are also available.

Published in Safety
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