Public Education

  1. Children's Safety
  2. Seasonal Safety
  3.  Fire & Life Safety
Child Passenger Safety
Our children are the most precious cargo that we carry while in our vehicles, but sadly, 80% to 90% of all child safety seats are not installed properly. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children under the age of 14

Roanoke Fire-EMS, Safe Kids Roanoke, Carilion Clinic, Roanoke Police, the National Highway Transportation Safety Association, and the Virginia Department of Health want you to remember the following 4 steps for kids:
1. Use rear-facing only seats in the back seat from birth to at least age 2. Children should be kept rear-facing as long as possible based on the recommendations of each individual child safety seat. Never install a rear-facing seat in the front seat of a car with airbags. This can cause serious injury or death to your baby if you are involved in an accident.
2. Use forward-facing seats with a harness in the back seat as long as the child does not exceed the weight or height limit. Children should be kept in a harness as long as possible based on the recommendations of each individual child safety seat. If you are using the lower anchors, always make sure you are using the top tether anchor. 
3. Use booster seats in the back seat for your older child from about age 4(unless they are still at the proper height & weight to stay in their harness straps) to at least age 8 or until your child is at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall (many times that’s at age 10). 
4. Use safety belts in the back seat at age 8 or older or taller than 4 feet, 9 inches. All children age 13 or younger should ride in the back seat - every time!
Seat Checks
Roanoke Fire-EMS, Safe Kids Roanoke, Carilion Clinic and the Roanoke Police Department will be holding permanent child safety seat checks on the 3rd Thursday of every month from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Roanoke Fire-EMS Station 6 located at 1333 Jamison Avenue.

To schedule a child safety seat installation appointment, please call Tiffany Bradbury, Community Risk Reduction Specialist, at 540-853-5785.

Kids In & Around Cars
On a hot and humid day it can take as little as 15 minutes for a baby to become dehydrated while sitting in a parked car with no ventilation. Children less than a year old are especially at risk and can quickly suffer serious injuries such as seizures, permanent brain damage or death. Always remember: Young children should never be left alone in a vehicle - no matter what the weather!

Top 10 reasons to never leave a child alone in a car:
1. Temperatures inside your vehicle can rise by as much as 30°F in the first 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Your baby could suffer heat stroke, exhaustion, rash, dehydration, even brain damage or death.
3. A thief could steal your car, not realizing or not caring that your child is still in it. This could happen in under 60 seconds.
4. You are putting your child at risk of being kidnapped.
5. Children are naturally curious and could climb into the driver's seat to "play."
6. It is against the law. In the criminal code, "abandoning child" refers to children under the age of 10.
7. Car accidents sometimes involve parked cars. In the event your unattended car is involved in an accident, common sense says baby is always better off with you.
8. Leaving windows down for baby does not help much to keep the car cool. It does expose your baby to small animals and insects, putting her/him at risk for bites and stings.
9. If your baby is left unattended in a soiled diaper, a painful blistery diaper rash could result.
10. Your baby would feel abandoned and frightened if he/she woke up alone.
If you are driving a bus or van, don't forget to check all seats for sleeping children before you leave your vehicle.
Also, always check behind your vehicle before you back out of your driveway to make sure that you don't accidentally back over a child. And watch for children as they walk or ride their bikes. If you see a child locked in a vehicle, call 911 immediately!

SW Virginia Alliance For Safe Babies – Safe Sleep & Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention...
Roanoke Fire-EMS is pleased to be a member of the SW Virginia Alliance for Safe Babies. This alliance has been formed to share vital safety information regarding Shaken Baby Syndrome and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

Avoiding Shaken Baby Syndrome
You know how frustrating it can be when you have tried everything to comfort your crying baby. No 1 ever thinks they will shake their baby, despite how frustrated they may get. Yet research shows that crying is the number 1 trigger that leads parents and caregivers to violently shake and injure babies. This dangerous action can cause severe brain, skull or spinal injuries that may be permanent or even fatal.

The good news is that it is 100% preventable! Finding support and learning coping strategies when dealing with your crying baby will help reduce the number of needless cases that occur.

Here are some suggestions for soothing your crying baby:

First, make sure your baby's basic needs are met:

Are they hungry?
Are they too hot or too cold?
Is their diaper changed?
Is their clothing too tight or snug?
If you think your baby is sick, call his or her doctor for advice.

If your baby keeps crying despite meeting all of his or her basic needs, you can try any or all of the following:

Hold your baby close against your chest and gently massage.
Rock your baby, walk or dance while holding your baby.
Offer a pacifier, or a clean pinky-finger if breastfeeding.
Lower any surrounding noise and lights.
Offer your baby a favorite toy, shake and rattle it or play soft music.
Sing or talk to your baby using soothing tones.
If it's not too hot or too cold outside, take your baby for a walk in a stroller.
Be patient! Take a deep breath and count to 10.
Call a friend or relative that you can trust to take over for a while, then get away, get some rest, take care of yourself!
Remember - it's okay to leave your baby safe in his or her crib and walk away for a few minutes.

SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
You can help prevent SIDS by following these steps for prevention.

Always place your baby on his or her back to sleep for naps and at night. The back sleep position is the safest. Every sleep time counts.
Place your baby on a firm sleep surface, such as on a safety-approved crib mattress, covered by a fitted sheet. Never place your baby to sleep on pillows, quilts, sheepskins, couches or other soft surfaces.
Keep soft objects, toys and loose bedding out of your baby's crib and sleep area. Do not use pillows, blankets, quilts, sheepskins, or any bumper pads in your baby's crib or sleep area. Keep stuffed animals out of the crib!
Do not smoke or allow smoking around your baby.
Keep your baby's crib, bassinet or sleep area close to where you and others sleep. Your baby should never sleep in a bed, on a couch or armchair with adults, other children, or pets. If you bring your baby into bed with you to breastfeed, be sure to place him or her back in your baby's separate sleep area, such as a bassinet, crib or cradle. Never sleep with your baby.
You may use a clean, dry pacifier when placing your baby down to sleep, but don't force your baby to take it. If you are breastfeeding, it is recommended to wait until your baby is 1 month old or is used to breastfeeding before using a pacifier.
Do not let your baby overheat during sleep by using excess clothing or blankets. Dress your baby in light clothing for sleep and keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable.
Avoid products that claim to reduce the risk of SIDS. Most of these products have not been tested for safety or adequacy.
Avoid the use of home monitors to reduce the risk of SIDS. Talk to your baby's pediatrician about the use of home monitors for other things.
Breastfeed your baby if possible. Breastfeeding not only gives your baby necessary nutrients and antibodies, studies show that breastfed babies have reduced rates of SIDS.

Do You Know Where Your Matches & Lighers Are? Your Kids Do...
Children have a natural curiosity about fire, and many times, this curiosity can turn deadly. Matches, lighters and other heat sources are the leading cause of fire deaths for children. Most child-playing home fires are started with lighters or matches and the majority of these fires start in the bedroom. The best way to prevent your kids from playing with matches and lighters is to sit down and talk with them. Here are some tips:
Store matches and lighters in a locked cabinet or out of reach of children. Remember, even child-resistant lighters aren't childproof.
When a child is curious about fire or has been playing with fire, calmly and firmly explain that matches and lighters are tools, not toys and are only to be used by adults.
Instruct small children to tell you when they find a lighter or matches.
Never use lighters or matches as amusement for children. They may imitate your actions.
If you feel like your child is having a problem and is setting fires on purpose, contact the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department for more information about our Juvenile Firesetter Program at 540-853-5785.

Water Safety
Many times people want to cool off at the pool, beach or lake, but taking part in these activities means making sure your children and grandchildren are safe around the water. Approximately 800 children ages 14 and under in the United States drown each year and nearly 2,700 require emergency room treatment for unintentional drowning related injuries. Children between the ages of 1 and 3 are most at risk to drown. 

A child who is under water will lose consciousness after 2 minutes and suffer irreversible brain damage within 4 to 6 minutes. So, what's to blame for most drownings? Poor supervision! 9 out of 10 children who have died in the water were being watched by an adult. Many times these adults become distracted. It only takes a moment for an accident to happen.
Always keep your children within arms reach. Keep your eyes on them at all times. If you are the “Water Watcher”, do not talk on the phone, text, read, etc….Your job is to watch the kids in the water at all times!
Select swimming areas carefully.
Have your child wear a bright colored swimsuit - pale colors are hard to find if your child were to fall into the water.
Use proper safety devices. Arm floaties and air-filled tubes aren't approved for safety and will not protect your child against drowning. Use a U.S. Coast Guard approved life preserver whenever your child is on a boat or raft, near a river or participating in water sports.
Don't rely on the lifeguard.
Be wary of plastic or inflatable pools. Watch your child even if they are in very shallow water.
Never leave infants in the bathtub unsupervised. Small children can drown in as little as 1 inch of water! Babies are at greatest risk to drown in the bathtub!

Swimming at Home
If you have a backyard pool or hot-tub:
Know where your child is at all times. If your child is missing, check the pool first.
Surround your pool or hot-tub on 4 sides with a fence that is at least 4 or 5 feet high and never prop open a gate to the pool area. Make sure the latches are out of your child's reach.
Set up several roadblocks. Equip doors, gates and windows that lead to the pool or hot-tub area with locks and alarms or invest in a sonar device that sets off an alarm when something enters the water. Floating alarms also go off if the water is disturbed.
Cover your pool with a rigid safety cover whenever you are not using it. If you have an above ground pool, remove ladders and steps when they're not in use.
Don't leave toys in the pool area or use chemical dispensers that look like toys. Many children attempt to reach the toys and fall in unintentionally.
Be prepared for an emergency. Keep a phone by the pool to call 911. Learn CPR and make sure your child's caregivers know it too.
Dump small pools when not in use!

Drain Safety
Pools aren't the only dangers. Another hidden danger is the drain. Few parents realize that children can die in a pool or hot-tub by getting sucked down and trapped in a drain. A child's hair or bathing suit can get stuck. Remember to:
Make sure that any pool or hot tub drain you use has an anti-entrapment drain cover. It should also have at least 2 drains for each pump which will reduce the powerful suction if 1 drain is blocked.
Watch your child closely and make sure she doesn't swim or play near drains. Have her tie her hair back or wear a bathing cap and make sure her swimsuit fits snugly with no loose ties.

Swimming Rules
When swimming, make sure your child knows the following rules:
Do swim only if there is a lifeguard or if a grown-up gives you permission to swim.
Do take swimming lessons.
Do follow water safety rules.
Do swim with a buddy.
Do wade into the water feet first if you're swimming in a lake, pond or river.
Do wear a personal flotation device (PFD) when you are in a boat.
Do get out of water right away if you hear thunder or see lightning.
Do not stand up in a boat.
Do not sit or stand on the edge of a boat or let your arms hang over the edge.
Do not eat candy or chew gum when you are swimming.
Do not swim when you are tired.
Do not dive off piers or rocks.
Do not run around a swimming pool, deck or pier.
Thank you for visiting the Public Education section of the Roanoke Fire-EMS Department. Roanoke Fire-EMS cares about you and your safety. Please take a few minutes to take advantage of the information, resources and tips available to you about fire and life safety.

The Public Education Department offers various programs for different age groups to teach fire and life safety topics. If you are interested in scheduling a fire truck visit, a fire station tour, a puppet show, Hazard House or Fire Safety Trailer Visit, please contact Tiffany Bradbury, Community Risk Reduction Specialist at 540-853-5785 or by email.  You can also fill out an online request form. 

Please note: The Fire Safety House is only scheduled at schools and large events at this time.

Safety Seat Installation/Check

Roanoke Fire-EMS offers free child safety seat installations. A monthly seat check is provided at Fire-EMS Station 6 located at 1333 Jamison Avenue, SE on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Child Safety Seat install appointments can also be made by calling 540-853-5785.
Fireman Visiting with Students
Dog Mascot
Dog Mascot with Kids