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With the arrival of colder weather, there will be an increase in the number of fuel-burning appliances being used in the home as people turn on their heaters for the first time this fall. These appliances include ovens, space heaters, generators, indoor grills and fireplaces which can cause dangerous levels of carbon monoxide (CO) to build up in the home.
“Families today are better at understanding the importance of having working smoke alarms in every sleeping area, but what about carbon monoxide alarms?” says Theresa Rapstine, Safe Kids Colorado coordinator. “Carbon monoxide is so dangerous because it is odorless, invisible, and it can kill. CO can make a child seriously ill in small doses that might not noticeably affect an adult.”
According to a study from 2004 to 2006, children younger than 5 years old have the highest estimated rate of CO-related visits to the emergency room each year among all age groups in the United States. More than 25 kids die from CO poisoning every year.
Important safety tips to protect families from CO poisoning:
If more than one person in the home suddenly feels ill for no apparent reason, or if a CO alarm goes off, get everyone outside immediately and call 911 from a pre-arranged meeting place. “CO alarms are available at hardware stores for about $20,” adds Rapstine. “That is a small price to pay to help detect odorless, poisonous gases in the home before it’s too late.”
For Safe Kids Denver Metro, led by Children’s Hospital Colorado, call 720-777-4807.
For Safe Kids Colorado Springs, led by Memorial Health System, call 719-365-6978.
For Safe Kids Larimer County, led by Poudre Valley Health System, call 970-495-7504.
For Safe Kids Southeastern Colorado, led by the Southeastern Colorado Regional Emergency and Trauma Advisory Council, call 719-688-2159
For Safe Kids Central Mountains, led by Summit Medical Center/Centura Health, call 970-668-2869.