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Beware Carbon Monoxide Dangers When Cold Weather Strikes

By Alan Mozes

FRIDAY, Jan. 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- As temperatures plummet across the northern half of the United States this weekend, gas heating use goes up. So does the risk for accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

That's because carbon monoxide exposure is both highly toxic and very hard to detect. The gas is colorless, tasteless and odorless.

As a result, more than 20,000 Americans seek emergency care each year for carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 400 die.

To prevent carbon monoxide incidents, the experts from the Nebraska Regional Poison Center say you should:

  • Install carbon monoxide alarms on every floor of your home. This is the most important thing you can do.
  • Inspect all fuel-burning equipment every year. Make sure that all gas heaters are properly vented to the outside. Gas generators should be placed at a good distance from the home, not near a window, door or vent.
  • Don't use a gas range or oven to warm up your home.
  • Don't use a gas or charcoal grill indoors.
  • Never leave your vehicle running while parked in a garage attached to your home.
  • Have your vehicle's muffler and tailpipes checked on a regular basis.

Though carbon monoxide is a quiet killer, signs of actual poisoning are very noticeable, according to the Poison Center. They include sleepiness, headache, dizziness, blurred vision, vomiting, shortness of breath and convulsions.

Anyone experiencing such symptoms should be immediately pulled out into the open air. It's important to seek medical help right away: Call 911 or the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222.

More information

The National Safety Council has more on carbon monoxide poisoning.

SOURCE: Nebraska Regional Poison Center, news release

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=729829

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Carbon
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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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