Keep Your Family Safe From Carbon Monoxide

You can’t see it, smell it or taste it, but at high levels it can kill you in minutes. Its symptoms mimic the flu but can lead to unconsciousness and death. It is the leading cause of poisoning in the United States. What is this deadly poison? Carbon monoxide!

The most common sources of carbon monoxide include:

  • Oil, wood or gas furnaces
  • Kerosene space heaters
  • Gas heaters, stoves and dryers
  • Fireplaces and wood stoves
  • Automobiles (a lethal concentration can be reached in a closed one-car garage within 10 minutes)

Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • Persistent, severe headaches
  • Dizziness and blurred vision
  • Sleepiness
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Feeling sick and tired in the home, but not when outside
  • Rapid heartbeat or pulse
  • Chest tightness

If you or anyone in your family is experiencing these symptoms while in the home, seek medical attention immediately. The severity of poisoning depends on the concentration of carbon monoxide in the inhaled air, the length of exposure, the size of the exposed person and the general health of the exposed person. Children are obviously at a higher risk.

The key is prevention:

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home and near sleeping areas.
  • Routinely maintain fuel-burning appliances and use them appropriately.

– Linda E. Reetz, R.N., B.S.N.

2 Responses to “Keep Your Family Safe From Carbon Monoxide”

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