With the drop in temperatures expecting to last through the week and the possibility of an additional snowfall this weekend/early next week, the potential for individuals incorrectly using alternative heating sources to heat their homes could increase, resulting in the risk for carbon monoxide poisoning and fires. In addition, hypothermia can also occur when individuals are improperly dressed when they go outdoors. Feel free to distribute these brief tips to your contacts. The carbon monoxide pictogram fact sheet (in English and Spanish) and the other fact sheets on alternative heating source dangers are available on the healthalerts.ky.gov site under the Winter Safety section.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
· Don’t use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement or garage or near a window.
· Don’t run a car or truck inside a garage attached to your house, even if you leave the door open.
· Don’t burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t properly vented.
· Don’t heat your house with a gas oven.
· Seek prompt medical attention by calling 911 or the Kentucky Regional Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed, have a headache, chest pain or are feeling nauseous.
· To install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector in your home or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall for daylight savings time. If the detector sounds, leave your home immediately and call 911.
· The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has carbon monoxide materials available at:
· General CO poisoning prevention guidelines: http://www.cdc.gov/co/guidelines.htm in 17 languages.
· Hypothermia can result when the body’s temperature drops below what is necessary to maintain normal bodily functions. In severe cases or when the body is not warmed properly, death can result.
· To prevent hypothermia, wear appropriate clothing and limit the time you spend outdoors. Layer clothes made of synthetic and wool fabrics, which are best for keeping warm. Remember to wear hats, coats, scarves and gloves.
· Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, altered speech pattern, abnormally slow rate of breathing, cold pale skin and lethargy. Seek medical attention if you experiences signs of hypothermia. Individuals experiencing these symptoms should call 911 or seek medical attention immediately.