Known as the silent killer, carbon monoxide results in numerous accidental deaths each year. As the weather cools, heaters are turned on and fireplaces are lit, and it’s important to remember the safety of our children. If you are moving or remodeling, it can be an even bigger concern. Children are far more susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning than adults because a child requires more oxygen and uses it faster than adults, according to the Consumer Products Safety Commission. Additional dangers are posed for children because a child’s central nervous system is not fully developed. The end result is that the child’s nervous system is much more susceptible to the toxic exposure of carbon monoxide poisoning. Approximately 24 children a year die from carbon monoxide poisoning, with an additional 3,500 reports injuries requiring a visit to the emergency room. Carbon monoxide can cause severe learning disability, memory loss and personality changes in children. Below are some helpful tips for keeping your family safe:
- Install carbon monoxide detectors in all sleeping rooms, and within 15 feet from a heat source (this is the most likely source of carbon monoxide release).
- Buy hardware detectors if possible—those that can be plugged into the wall. Virtually all direct current detectors have a battery backup in case of a power outage.
- If batteries are needed, check them once a year. Choose a date to test or replace the batteries, like a holiday or birthday, so you won’t forget.
- Only purchase carbon monoxide detectors that have been approved by the United Laboratories (UL).