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Healthline Connects

48 US Deaths due to Hurricane Ike so Far: 4 Year Old Boy Succumbs to Carbon Monoxide


As search and rescue teams make their way through the swath of devastation left by Hurricane Ike, the death count is rising. One fatality is a four year old boy who died of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from a generator inside the home. The rest of the family is being treated for CO poisoning. Generators are a convenience to keep appliances running during power outages, but they must be used safely. Follow these guidelines for safe generator use:
  • During installation, turn off the main circuit breaker in the house and install the generator on the main circuit breaker only so that power lines are not energized. Failure to do so could injure or electrocute service personnel working on what are expected to be de-energized lines.
  • Use the generator in a well-ventilated area - preferably outdoors to eliminate the possibility of CO poisoning.
  • Turn off the generator to refuel it to minimize the risk of fire.
  • Use heavy duty extension cords in good condition intended for use with a generator to power appliances.
Anything that burns fuel can cause CO poisoning. When fuel is burned incompletely or inefficiently, undetectable CO gas is a by-product. CO monitors are relatively inexpensive and easy to install in the home. Get yours today - one for each story of your home or business. Thousands of people die each year from this preventable, accidental poisoning. Signs and symptoms of CO poisoning?:
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Blue lips
If you are inside an area where CO poisoning could be an issue - get out of doors immediately and get emergency medical treatment.


Thank you Coast Guard Newsstream for use of photo of Galveston TX Post Hurricane Ike.
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