Carbon monoxide poisoning is something that should not be taken lightly as this can seriously affect everyone in the family, especially your baby. A buildup of this deadly gas can occur when gas, wood, coal, and kerosene are burnt in an area that is not well-ventilated. This gas is colorless and odorless, which makes its presence hard to detect. However, if your stove is working properly, the carbon monoxide produced is at a level which is harmless to people.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
There are certain signs or symptoms which can help you identify if you or a family member is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Some symptoms however, may be associated with symptoms of the flu so it is still best to consult a medical professional when in doubt. Keep in mind though that the higher levels of this gas that are present in the air you breathe, the worse the symptoms will be.
• Shortness or difficulty in breathing
There are also other symptoms associated with carbon monoxide poisoning like increased heart rate or mental confusion, etc. People who are at a higher risk of suffering from serious side effects and even death include babies, pregnant women and the baby in her womb, elderly people, and people who have suffered from respiratory illnesses in the past.
If you suspect that you, your baby, or anyone in the family has been poisoned with carbon monoxide, it is imperative that you get out of your home or the affected area immediately, and proceed to a well-ventilated place or even outdoors with fresh air. Long term effects depend on how long you or your family members were exposed to this gas, including the level of the gas present in the air. Proceeding to the emergency room of the nearest hospital or calling 911 is also a must for severe cases.
How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Buildup in Your Home
• Getting a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home is necessary if you use gas or coal at home, but isn’t a necessity if you use electricity for cooking your meals and for all the appliances in your home.
• You should have all of your appliances which operate on gas checked or serviced by a qualified person annually to make sure that they are working properly. Remember, if all of your appliances are working properly, these will still emit carbon monoxide but at a level which is harmless to everyone in the home.
• Do not leave your car running idle inside your garage – the carbon monoxide will build up in the garage and seep through doors, windows, and other open spaces inside your home.
• Always make sure that your fireplace or chimney is well ventilated before you use them.