Kentucky Tragedy Shows Danger of Carbon Monoxide in Winter
A Louisville, Kentucky, father and his 3-year-old son died from carbon monoxide poisoning and a 7-year-old girl was in critical condition.
Reports indicate the father was warming up the vehicle inside the garage while trying to get his children off to school the morning of Nov. 28. The three were found in the garage by family members.
Kira Huck of Safe Kids Missoula said the tragic deaths point out the danger of warming up a vehicle while inside a garage.
“We always recommend that if you need to warm up your vehicle you need to remove it from the garage,” said Huck. “Don’t ever leave your vehicle running in the garage, even if you do have the door open, it is best to remove it all the way out of the garage just to prevent the accumulation of carbon monoxide.”
Huck pointed out a Missoula city ordinance that can make warming up a vehicle a challenge.
“You’re not supposed to warm up your car while it’s on the street, but if you’re on your own garage driveway, that’s fine, but that is a complication,” she said. “You just can’t let it warm up while it’s on the street.”
Huck also said it’s important to dress your children in warm clothing that does not hinder the operation of their safety seats.
“We recommend that parents not put their children in bulky or puffy coats in their car seats, because when you buckle them in it may feel like they’re tight with their coat on, but if you were to take the child out and put it back in without the coat you would find quite a difference in the tightness of the straps,” she said. “Safe Kids Missoula recommends you dress your children in a light fleece jacket and then you can cover them up with blankets if you need to, and there are some car seat-safe coats, but we always recommend you not use anything thick or bulky.”
Kids and cars dot com offers the following safety tips regarding carbon monoxide.
‘The No. 1 safety tip is to ensure that you have working carbon monoxide detectors in all areas of the home, especially near sleeping areas. Change batteries twice a year and replace detectors every 6-10 years.
Never warm up a vehicle in any enclosed space.
Never leave a vehicle running in the garage, not even with the garage door open.
Do not put children or adults inside a running vehicle while clearing snow or ice off the vehicle.
Keyless-ignition vehicles should always be double-checked to ensure the vehicle has been turned off. Even if you take the key fob with you, the vehicle could keep running.
Always clear the tailpipe of a vehicle in inclement weather conditions. If the tailpipe becomes clogged with ice, snow or other debris, carbon monoxide can leak into the passenger compartment.
What to do if carbon monoxide alarms sound in the home:
Immediately move all household members outside to fresh air – including pets.
Do not reenter the home until authorities have given you permission to do so.’