Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas that is produced when substances containing carbon are burned. It has been referred to as the “silent killer.”
Common sources of carbon monoxide include heaters, car exhaust, fireplaces, cigarette smoke, and portable generators. When the fumes from these devices aren’t properly vented, carbon monoxide can reach dangerous levels and cause serious health issues even death.
The effects of carbon monoxide poisoning become noticeable when its level in the blood becomes too high.  Diagnosing elevated levels of carbon monoxide in the body is usually done through a blood test.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:
• Headaches
• Nausea
• Feeling tired
• Shortness of breath
• Chest pain
• Memory problems
• Agitation
• Coughing
The best way to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning is to use caution and preventative measures when in a space where things are burning. It is important to have a functioning carbon monoxide detector in the on each level of the home.   Chimneys in homes must be kept clear of debris, fireplaces should be inspected at least once a year and keep ducts open and clean that come from water heaters, stoves, and clothes dryers. In addition, do not use gas powered machines in closed spaces,
Anyone who is suspected of being exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide should be taken to an emergency room immediately. Treatment requires being given oxygen, sometimes in high quantities, to flush out the carbon monoxide. If not treated quickly the results are often fatal. If you suspect that there is a carbon monoxide, or any other gas problem in your home, best to evacuate the premises and call 911.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Portable Heater Safety Tips

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heating equipment, such as portable space heaters, is a leading cause of home fire deaths and half of the home heating equipment fires are reported during the months of December, January, and February.

NFPA suggests these tips for safely operating heating equipment in your home:

  • Keep anything that can burn at least three feet away from heating equipment, like the furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
  • Have a three-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
  • Never use your oven to heat your home.
  • Have a qualified professional install stationary space heating equipment, water heaters or central heating equipment according to the local codes and manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Have heating equipment and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year by a qualified professional.
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters.

As a way of further making your home safe during the colder months, it is recommended that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are checked each month. They may need a change of battery to ensure they are working properly.

 

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Halloween Safety Tips

Mother with her son and daughter in Halloween costumes

Halloween is known as a kid-favorite holiday full of spooky fun and lots of candy.  However, it can also present many opportunities for injury, as children take to the streets in pursuit of trick-or-treat goodies.

Statistics show that roughly four times as many children aged 5-14 are killed while walking on Halloween evening compared with other evenings of the year.  Also, injuries such as falls are a leading cause of injuries among children on Halloween.

Parents can help minimize the risk of children getting injured at Halloween by following these safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Safety Council.

On Halloween children should:

  • Go only to well-lit houses and remain on porches than entering houses.
  • Travel in small groups accompanied by an adult.
  • Use costume plastic knives and swords that are flexible, not rigid or sharp.
  • When walking through neighborhoods trick or treating, use flashlights, stay on sidewalks, and avoid crossing yards.
  • Cross at the corner, use crosswalks and do not cross between parked cars.
  • Be sure to stop at all corners and stay together in a group before crossing.
  • Wear clothing or costumes that are bright, reflective and flame retardant.
  • Consider using face paint instead of masks which can obstruct a child’s vision.
  • Avoid wearing hats that will slide over children’s eyes.
  • Avoid wearing long, baggy or loose costumes or oversized shoes to prevent tripping.
  • Be reminded to look left, right and left again before crossing a street.

On Halloween parents and adults should:

  • Supervise the trick or treat outing for children under age 12.
  • Avoid giving choking hazards such a gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys as treats to young children.
  • Parents and adults should ensure the safety of pedestrian trick or treaters.
  • Make sure children under age 10 are supervised as they cross the street.
  • Drive slowly.
  • Watch for children in the street and on medians.
  • Exit driveways and alleyways slowly and carefully.
  • Have children get out of cars on the curbs side, not on the traffic side.

By following these simple tips, you and your children can have a safe and fun Halloween!

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.