Protecting your kids from carbon monoxide poisoning
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (KAIT) - Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled and is often referred to as the “invisible killer” according to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital. It’s a very common gas that can be found all over an average house or living environment.
CO is created when fuel-burning appliances, like heating devices, grills, clothing dryers, and vehicles do not burn all the fuel they need to function. If these devices aren’t working properly it can lead to a deadly carbon monoxide leak.
Young children process CO differently than adults, so they may experience more severe side effects and show signs of poisoning quickly. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, nausea, and drowsiness, but at its worst, CO can cause severe side effects or death.
Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital wants to let you know the steps you can take to keep your family safe from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Surprising Carbon Monoxide Statistics:
Each year, 184 children in the United States die due to carbon monoxide poisoning and more than 20,000 children visit the emergency room. The danger of carbon monoxide increases in the winter because fuel-powered devices, like heaters, are used more often.
Top Tips for Carbon Monoxide Safety:
· Install carbon monoxide (CO) alarms
· Make sure there is one on every level of your home, especially around sleeping areas
· Test CO alarms every month. Replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions
· Avoid using gas appliances inside your home
· Use generators and grills outside of your home, away from windows and doors
· Warm up vehicles outside of your garage
· In a CO emergency, leave your home immediately
· If the CO alarm sounds, quickly leave your home
· Move to a safe location outside where you can breathe in fresh air before you call for help
Numbers to call in case of an emergency:
· Toll-Free Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222.
· Police Department/Fire Department: Dial 9-1-1
For more tips and resources to keep your kids safe from injuries, visit www.lebonheur.org/safekids
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