Invisible and odorless, carbon monoxide poisoning has proven to be a dangerous threat to American families with 400 people killed and 21,000 sent to emergency rooms due to unintentional poisonings every year. Young kids are at even greater risk, with a quarter of all CO-related calls to poison control centers in 2015 being for children.

To raise awareness about this issue and encourage families to be prepared, Safe Kids North Carolina will join Safe Kids Worldwide, Kidde, the National Association of State Fire Marshalls and other experts for National CO Awareness Week from November 5-12, 2017.

“There’s a reason carbon monoxide is called the ‘invisible killer,’ and we want to make sure parents understand the risks,” said Mike Causey, Insurance Commissioner and Chair of Safe Kids NC. “With the winter months approaching, now’s the perfect time to make sure your alarms are all working so you can sleep peacefully at night.”

This marks the first year that these organizations have brought carbon monoxide awareness to light on a national scale. The group of partners are also working together to share simple tips and tools for families, including:

~Make sure there’s a working CO alarm on every level of your house and near every bedroom. Test them every month to make sure they’re working correctly, and replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

~If you need to turn on your vehicle to warm it up, make sure to take it out of the garage right away. Even if the door is open, don’t leave it sitting in the garage while the engine’s running.

~Check the vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace outside your home to make sure they’re clear of any snow or other debris.
If the CO alarm sounds, leave the house immediately. Call 911 or the fire department after you are in a location with fresh air. Remain outside or by an open window until emergency personnel arrives.

Safe Kids North Carolina works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States.

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