Healthy & Safe Lifestyles

Child Safety

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Child Safety Seats

Child safety seats and safety belts, when installed and used properly, can prevent injuries and save lives. Young children restrained in child safety seats have an 80 percent lower risk of fatal injury than those who are unrestrained (Safe Kids USA).

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released updated best practice
recommendations for child passenger safety. These new recommendations include:

  • All infants and toddlers should ride rear-facing until they are 2 years of age or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer.
  • All children 2 years or older, or those younger than 2 years who have outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for their car safety seat, should use a forward-facing car safety seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by their car safety seat’s manufacturer.
  • All children whose weight or height is above the forward-facing limit for their car safety seat should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly, typically when they have reached 4 feet 9 inches in height and are between 8 and 12 years of age.

Printable version of the new recommendations

Ohio Child Passenger Safety Law

As of October 7, 2009, children are required to use belt-positioning booster seats once they outgrow their child safety seats (usually at 4 years old and 40 pounds) until they are 8 years old, unless they are at least 4 feet, 9 inches (57 inches) tall.

Ohio’s revised child restraint law requires the following:

  • Children less than 4 years old or 40 pounds must use a child safety seat.
  • Children less than 8 years old, unless they are at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall, must use a booster seat.
  • Children ages 8-15 must use a child safety seat or safety belt.

For more information about booster seats, visit the Ohio Department of Health.

Car Seat Program

Franklin County Public Health will no longer be providing car seats through the Ohio Buckles Buckeyes program. If you are in need of a car seat, please contact Columbus Public Health at (614) 645-7748 to learn about their car seat program.

Helpful Links and More Information

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Smoke Free Workplace Program

To report violations call 1 (866) 559-OHIO (6446).

The major requirements of the state law include:

  • Prohibiting smoking in any public place or place of employment.
  • Posting conspicuous signs in every public place and place of employment where smoking is prohibited, including at each entrance. The statute requires these signs to say “No Smoking” or have the “No Smoking” international symbol (consisting of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red bar across it). The signs must be clearly legible and shall contain the toll free number for reporting violations. The Ohio Department of Health states that signs using the no smoking symbol must also be printed in color. For non-vehicle applications no smoking signs must be at least 4 x 6 inches. To download a copy of the signage click on the links below:
  • Removing all ash trays and other receptacles used for disposing of smoking materials from any area where smoking is prohibited by the statute.
Visit the Ohio Department of Health website for full details on the Ohio Law.
Additional Smoke-Free Workplace Links
Cessation Services

The Quit Smoking Today brochure provides a list of local cessation resources.

The Ohio Tobacco Quit Line is a phone based tobacco cessation resource available to uninsured individuals, Medicaid recipients, pregnant women and members of the Tobacco Collaborative free of charge. To speak with a Quit Specialist call 1 (800) QUIT-NOW.

Ohio Tobacco Quit Hotline is a free, interactive website that shows smokers how to re-learn life without cigarettes. The site, developed by Legacy in partnership with Mayo Clinic, offers a free, personalized quit plan and an online support community to help people prepare to quit and stay quit.

American Cancer Society
Breathing Association
American Lung Association
NetWellness: Smoking and Tobacco

Tobacco Free Collaborative of Franklin County
The Tobacco-Free Collaborative (TFC) is a network of organizations, businesses and individuals who have teamed up to build support for tobacco control in Central Ohio. TFC focuses on efforts to address youth access and exposure to tobacco, public exposure to secondhand smoke and coordination of smoking cessation services to the public as well as to support all of its members in their efforts. Franklin County Public Health is an active participant in the coalition. For more information, call Sandy Gill (614) 645-0743.
100% Tobacco Free School Campuses

Schools can help reduce youth tobacco use by adopting a 100% tobacco campus policy. A model policy is available from the Ohio Department of Health. Call Franklin County Public Health at (614) 525-6668 for copies of the Creating Tobacco Free Schools toolkit.

Every two years the Ohio Department of Health, with the help of local public health departments like Franklin County Public Health, surveys middle school and high school students about tobacco use and perceptions. Results are published in the Ohio Youth Tobacco Survey.

Multiunit Housing Smoke Free Policies

Secondhand smoke (SHS) is harmful and can lead to disease and even death in non-smokers. In multiunit housing, smoke can migrate from one unit to another and exposing residents to SHS. However, smoke free policies in multiunit housing can protect all occupants from SHS infiltration in individual units and common areas.

Smoke-free policies can apply to indoor common areas (e.g., lobbies, laundry rooms, corridors), outdoor common areas (e.g., swimming pools and picnic and barbecue areas), and individual units, and to some or all buildings. For help working on multiunit smoke free housing polices, you can access this manual developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthy Homes program. The manual offers suggestions, tips, and tools that draw on research and lessons from successful efforts to reduce secondhand smoke in multifamily housing.

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Stop Bullying

According to, bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

There are many other types of aggressive behavior that don't fit the definition of bullying. This does not mean that they are any less serious or require less attention than bullying. Rather, these behaviors require different prevention and response strategies.

Help kids understand bullying. Talk about what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely. Tell kids bullying is unacceptable. Make sure kids know how to get help.

Visit for information, tools and resources to help children, parents, teachers and community members prevent and stop bullying. You can learn how to take action against bullying and prevent it from happening.

Yes...That's Bullying:

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Healthy Schools

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Action for Healthy Kids

Ohio Action for Healthy Kids (AFHK) is part of a nationwide initiative dedicated to improving the health and educational performance of children through better nutrition and physical activity in schools. AFHK has a variety of resources for parents, educators and administrators. Locally, AFHK offers trainings, events and grants.

Buckeye Healthy Schools Alliance

Buckeye Health Schools Alliance (BHSA) works to impact the learning environment to ensure healthy and successful children through the coordinated school health model and collaboration.

Other Resources

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Hand Washing

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Singing Happy Birthday; The Secret to Better Health

There is a 20 second song that is spreading across central Ohio - that song is “Happy Birthday”. It’s being used to promote good hygiene. You want to wash your hands for 20 seconds and singing helps you pass the time. Singing “Happy Birthday” two times while washing your hands can significantly reduce the number of sick days you use. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that proper hand washing is one of the best defenses against influenza and preventing the spread of disease.

Washing your hands correctly actually removes germs and other bacteria that causes disease so it reduces the chance of spreading germs.

View commercials on how to prevent the spread of germs
Downloadable Posters on Handwashing
Downloadable Posters on Staying Home When You're Sick
How to Practice Good Hygiene

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Presentations, Training & Health Fairs

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Please call (614) 525-6668 if you would like to schedule a presentation. We can provide presentations to a variety of audiences on a variety of topics including emergency preparedness, beg bugs and general health department information. We can also suggest other community partners to contact. Presentation scheduling is limited by the availability of our staff and we may not be able to accommodate all requests. For requests in the City of Columbus, please contact Columbus Public Health at (614) 645-7417.


Check with the Greater Columbus Red Cross for training on:

  • Communicable diseases
  • Blood borne pathogens
  • Child abuse
  • CPR

Information about training for the food industry can be found in our Food Safety Program section.

Health Fairs
Please call (614) 525-6668 if you would like us to attend a health fair in your community. Due to limited staff availability, we are not able to honor all requests. However, we can typically provide printed material.

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Partners & Programs

American Red Cross - National Organization
American Red Cross - Columbus Chapter
American Cancer Society
American Lung Association
American Heart Association
Central Ohio Diabetes Association
Mid Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC)
Columbus Public Health
Safe Kids Central Ohio
Ohio Department of Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

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