During the colder months and the holiday season, our households and children are exposed to new and exciting decorations, traditions, and potential dangers. Like every year, this year it is especially important to make sure that your house is as safe as it can be!
Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas emitted by household appliances, heaters, gas-powered generators, natural gas fixtures, wood stoves and fireplaces. The most significant risk factor is that it is colorless, orderless, and tasteless, making detection without a carbon monoxide detector nearly impossible.
Everyone is at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning, but children are in a higher risk group because they are smaller, breathe faster, and can inhale more CO per pound of their body weight.
Your CO detector should be battery-operated or battery backed-up and placed near each sleeping area in your home. Most have an easy test button to ensure that it has enough power and is in good working condition.
To help prevent CO poisoning:
- Your fuel-burning appliances should be checked by a professional once a year; gas cooking stoves and ovens should never be used as a supplemental heat source.
- Fireplaces and wood stoves should be inspected once a year to ensure that the flue is open every time it is used, and there are no obstructions to ventilation.
- Space heaters should be appropriately vented and never put under blankets or pillows.
- Generators should never be run inside the house.
Fireplace Safety Tips
Who doesn’t love curling up next to the fire with some hot chocolate or tea to read a story or relax for the evening, especially during this time of year? To prevent accidental fires, burns, or CO poisoning:
- Be sure to use dry and aged wood; this helps produce less smoke and soot.
- If you can, keep a window cracked while the fireplace is on.
- Ensure the flue is open and clear before starting the fire.
- Make sure that you have a safety screen set up in front of your fire, even if it has a glass front. This will help prevent any accidental burns that can come from curious fingers.
- Never leave the fire unattended.
Holiday Specific Tips
The American Pediatrics Association has a great video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebi1PyxuH_k&feature=emb_logo
That has a few tips and tricks to keep in mind while Christmas trees and holiday candles are being set up!
The holidays can be stressful, but following best safety practices can help avoid tragedy. If you have any questions about what to do or not do during the holidays to keep your children safe, please give our offices a call.