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Health Notes from Dartmouth-Hitchcock -- Carbon monoxide: A silent killer

January 08. 2018 8:48PM

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a gas that you cannot see, taste or smell. Each year, approximately 184 children in the United States die due to carbon monoxide poisoning, and more than 20,000 children visit the emergency room.

Here are some tips from Safe Kids New Hampshire, a nonprofit organization of individuals and organizations throughout the state interested in preventing accidental childhood injury, for preventing and identifying carbon monoxide in your home:

• Have a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas, and keep the alarm at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.

• Don’t use a grill, generator or camping stove inside your home, garage or near a window.

• If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage immediately after starting it. Don’t leave a car, SUV or motorcycle engine running inside a garage, even if the doors are open.

• Never use your stove top to heat your home.

On the outside of your home, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace are clear of snow and debris.

• If your alarm sounds, immediately move outdoors or to an open window or door for fresh air. Account for everyone in your home.

• Call 911 or the fire department. Remain outside or by the open window until emergency personnel arrive to assist you.

Safe Kids New Hampshire wants all families to be aware of the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, especially for children and the elderly.

As part of this effort, a new group called the Carbon Monoxide Alliance has formed to address concerns in New Hampshire and Vermont. This alliance is working with partners such as the American Red Cross to get more carbon monoxide alarms in residential homes.

For more information about the alliance, go to


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