Expert: How to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning amidst colder temperatures

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(WHNT) — A poison control expert with Children’s of Alabama is reminding everyone about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning as colder temperatures settle in for winter.

According to Ann Slattery, the director of the Alabama Poison Information Center (APIC), risky methods for trying to stay warm during colder months can be very dangerous. In 2021 alone, APIC received 144 calls about carbon monoxide exposures. 36 of those calls came in the final three months of the year.

“If there’s a power outage, they’re going to look for alternative ways to keep warm,” Slattery said. “They may build fires, they may bring in their grills into their homes to try to help get some heat, that type of thing.”

Slattery recommends installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

“Carbon monoxide can come into your home without there being smoke or a fire, so you would want to catch it, be able to detect it,” Slattery stated. She said gas stoves, pilot lights, and kerosene heaters can also lead to poisoning if not properly used.

“We recommend that you have one on every floor of your home,” Slattery said of carbon monoxide detectors. “We recommend that you have one in the hallway or outside of bedrooms so they will awaken you.”

Slattery said the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, and nausea. If you or someone you know has been suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, head to the nearest emergency room.

For more information about carbon monoxide poisoning, contact APIC at 1-800-222-1222.

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