6 Helpful Tips To Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Children

carbon monoxide

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Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas. It is infamously known as the silent killer. It gets produced when any material that contains carbon is burnt.

  • Most of our household appliances – water heaters, portable generators, clothes dryer or any other heating appliances today emit carbon monoxide.
  • Motor vehicles exhaust and even smokes form fire emit this harmful gas.
  • Improper ventilation can increase its build up inside our homes causing Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

Both adults and young children fall victim to this poisoning. But the younger children are far more vulnerable to this poisoning. Here is some information about CO that you must know:

Common Sources Of Carbon Monoxide:

You should be aware of the sources of CO emission, here they are:

  • Gas water heaters
  • Kerosene space heaters
  • Grills using charcoal
  • Stoves
  • Propane heaters
  • Generators using gasoline
  • Generators powered by diesel
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Forklifts fuelled using propane
  • Concrete saws powered by gasoline
  • Indoor tractor pulls
  • Engines of boats
  • Spray paint and paint removers
  • Degreasers and solvents

[ Read: Headache In Children ]

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

When a person is exposed to too much of carbon monoxide, it can result into severe illness. This excess exposure is known as carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning claims thousands of lives almost every single year.

The way a child’s body processes carbon monoxide is quite different from that of an adult, as children are more susceptible to this gas. It causes the poisoning to spread too fast and too easily.

Kids may experience symptoms sooner than a healthy adult. It is therefore extremely essential to know about the symptoms and treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning.

[ Read: Heart Murmur In Kids ]

Symptoms Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Children:

The following are some of the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning in children that can be noticed:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • He might show flu-symptoms like fatigue
  • May experience shortness of breath on exertion
  • Your child might feel an impaired judgment
  • Chest pain
  • Your child may feel confused and show signs of depression, hallucinations and agitation
  • Vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness, seizure, fainting, memory and walking problems
  • Respiratory failure can also be one of the symptoms

[ Read: Is Deet Safe For Children ]


If you find your kid showing any of the symptoms of carbon monoxide, here is what you should do:

  • You must stay calm to be able to think wise and act fast.
  • First of all, try and take the affected person to open area where there is more fresh air.
  • Try and safely turn off any carbon monoxide appliances that might be running in the house. You must do this only if you don’t risk yours and others life while doing it.
  • Immediately call for emergency care.
  • Even before ambulance comes to rescue, perform CPR on the affected. This should be done constantly without stopping. If you feel tired after sometime, you may ask someone else to take over but try not to stop.

[ Read: Chest Pain In Children ]


They say prevention is better than cure, so here are few helpful tips for you to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your kid:

  1. Install a carbon monoxide alarm in your house. This should specially be done in your sleeping area and must be kept at a minimum of 15 feet away from any of the fuel-burning appliances in the house.
  2. Never use a camping stove, grill or generator right inside your house, even if it is near a window.
  3. Never leave a running car inside the garage. When you are trying to heat your car, start the engine and immediately leave it outside in the open. Running cars inside the garage are common sources of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  4. Every gasoline-powered device in the house must be locked and kept away from children’s reach. You must always store very small quantities in a container that is approved and has child safety features.
  5. Gasoline should be kept totally away from any item or appliance that can ignite a flame, spark or fire.
  6. Try and practice good safety habits at your home.

You must help spread awareness about this silent killer – carbon monoxide. After all, creating awareness is a step towards arresting the problem.

Tell us how you liked this article on carbon monoxide for kids and share other tips on this subject with us in the comment section below.

References : 1

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