Vilas County Public Health - Home

Keep your family safe with working smoke alarms!

Did you know that almost half of home fire deaths are from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep?

Smoke alarms save lives. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out. Having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half!

Also make sure you have a fire escape plan in place and that family members know it.  Here are some tips: Escape Planning Tip Sheet

For more informaiton on preventing fires in your home, visit: 


October is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Awareness Month

Learn the ABCs of safe sleep for babies:

  • A – alone: Babies always should sleep alone, without siblings or other people. Nothing should be in the crib, including blankets, bumper pads or toys.
  • B – on the back: Babies should sleep on their backs. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, this is the safest position for babies to sleep in.
  • C – in a crib: Babies should sleep in a crib or Pack 'n Play. Safe and Unsafe

An unsafe sleep environment for babies means:

  • Sleeping in a bed or crib with others (adults and siblings).
  • Sleeping on a sofa, recliner chair or soft bedding alone or with others.
  • Using crib bumpers, blankets, pillows or toys in the crib.
  • Smoking in the house or car.



Back to School Tips

The first day of school is right around the corner.  Now is a great time to help your child get back on a healthy and safe plan for school.  Following a few tips below will help your child stay healthy and safe during the school year. 

Healthy Lunches

  • Pack your child's lunch with whole grains, such as whole-grain bread, wraps or pita pockets.
  • Provide lean meats, cheese or hummus to make sandwiches.
  • Provide several fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, snap peas, cucumbers, fresh fruits that are in season.
  • Have your child choose milk in order to get calcium and Vitamin D.
  • Variety is the key!

Getting Enough Sleep

  • A couple of weeks before the first day of school, slowly begin to have your child go to bed earlier. 
  • Preschool-age kids need 11 - 12 hours of sleep.
  • School-age kids need at least 10 hours of sleep.
  • Teens need 9 - 10 hours of sleep.
  • Set rules on when electronic devices need to be turned off.

Preventing Sickness  

  • Make sure your child is up-to-date on his/her shots.
  • Remind your child to wash their hands after using the restroom, before they eat and wiping their nose.
  • Have them cover their cough and sneezes using their inner arm by their elbow. 

School Bus Safety Tips

  • Get to the bus stop early. Do not run to the bus.
  • Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop before walking toward it.
  • If crossing the street, wait for a signal from the bus driver.  Look both ways to make sure there is no moving traffic from either direction.
  • Always cross in front of the bus so the driver can see you.
  • If the bus has lap and shoulder belts, use them.
  • Once the bus is in motion, remain in your seat.
  • If the window is open, keep your arms and head inside the bus at all times.
  • Do not stand up to get off the bus until it has completely stopped.
  • Only get off the bus at your assigned spot.

Walking Safety Tips

  • Children should only walk to school alone if they are old enough and ready to make the walk safely. Note: Children may not be ready to walk to school without an adult until they are at least 10 years old.
  • Younger kids cannot be trusted to make smart traffic choices on their own.
  • Plan and practice a safe walking route with your child until she knows it well.
  • Use streets with sidewalks, crosswalks and crossing guards. Avoid as many intersections as possible.
  • Have children walk with a friend or in a group.
  • Talk to your child about what to do if they are approached by a stranger.

Safety Tips for Drivers

  • Drivers should be aware of children walking to school or to the bus stop.
  • When backing out of the driveway, watch for children.
  • On streets without crossing guards, watch out for children trying to cross the street.
  • Be careful on streets without sidewalks or streets with on-street parking. It might be hard to notice a child behind a car.
  • Be alert. Children may dart into the street without looking.
  • Slow down!

Source: Nationwide Children's Hospital & American Public Health Association


Ebola Information

For up-to-date information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regarding Ebola, click here.

Source: CDC