Carbon Monoxide is a gas that has no Detectable Signs
- A product of burned fuels
- Has no color, smell, or taste
- Extremely poisonous, especially for infants
- Obstructs blood from transporting oxygen
- This leads to cell and organ death
NOTE: Due to the fact that infants rely on their caregivers in vital aspects of life, it is crucial for the latter to pay attention to carbon monoxide. This gas is a result of the incomplete burning of gasoline, wood, coal, charcoal, or kerosene (“Carbon monoxide poisoning in children,” n.d.). Thus, it can be easily encountered in daily life; however, because it has no distinct characteristics such as smell or color, an individual is unable to prevent the poisoning. Once it is breathed in, the gas affects oxygen transportation.
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Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning can be Confused with Other Illnesses.
- Significant signs correspond with common diseases
- Infants are unable to acknowledge the symptoms
- Headache and nausea are primary signs
- Permanent damage can be caused
- Emergency help is usually required
NOTE: The primary reason why carbon monoxide is a severe health threat for children is that its symptoms can be confused with the flu or other types of poisoning. Additionally, infants cannot alarm their parents by complaining about headaches or heart issues, which makes it difficult to detect the problem. However, it is critical to visit the emergency department right away because this poisoning can cause irreversible brain or heart damage.
Additional Attention should be Paid to Changes in Infant’s Behavior.
- Carbon monoxide is a severe threat
- Prevention measures can protect infants
- Raising awareness about fumes is critical
- Attention to the environment is required
- Immediate action when poisoning is suspected
NOTE: Due to the fact that carbon monoxide poisoning is not easily detectable and is very harmful, caregivers should focus on preventing the condition by ensuring that infants are not placed in dangerous environments. This approach will ensure that infants are not accidentally endangered. Health promotion can be done by explaining the issue and the dangers of carbon monoxide. Additionally, the necessity to immediately consult a medical professional in case any symptoms arise is vital.
Environments that Pose Danger should be Monitored by Caregivers
- Dryers, heaters, or barbecue grills
- Any object that uses gas
- Appliances that use oil or charcoal
- Exposure is the diagnostic tool
NOTE: Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs primarily due to incorrectly working equipment such as water heaters or car exhausts. Therefore, it is critical to ensure that infants are not left around these elements. Additionally, caregivers should know that the primary strategy for diagnosing the condition is assessing the possible contact with dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide.
- Infants exposed to gas heaters
- Infants leaving near faulty stoves
- Malfunctioning vehicles
- Home heaters or fireplaces
- Tabaco smoke
NOTE: The following bullet points assess the prospective environments where infants can encounter carbon monoxide.
as little as 3 hours
- Keep children away from potential danger
- Monitor exhausts and water heating equipment
- Visit the emergency department when suspecting poisoning
- Expose an infant to fresh air
- Use CPR if breathing is impaired (“Carbon monoxide poisoning in children,” n.d.)
NOTE: While ideally, infants should not live in environments where exposure to carbon dioxide is possible if any symptoms are present, the steps outlined above should be performed.
- Most cases are due to malfunctioning stoves (Unsal, Taşar, Bostancı, Şimşek, & Bilge, 2015)
- The education level of parents is critical (Unsal et al., 2015)
- Treatment involves hyperbaric oxygen therapy (Macnow & Waltzman, 2016)
- Air pollution contributes to this poisoning (Levy, 2015)
- Fetus exposure has adverse effects (Levy, 2015)
NOTE: Policies that help reduce the number of carbon monoxide poisoning cases among infants should target two significant factions – stoves installed in homes and education of parents regarding the issue. Thus, caregivers should be educated on the dangers, symptoms, and importance of contacting a provider. Additionally, this gas can have a severe impact due to air pollution, especially during pregnancy (Levy, 2015). The current intervention involves oxygen therapy to renew the functions of blood cells.
American Academy of Pediatricians
- Develops policies that target children’s health
- Provides recommendations for avoiding harmful events
- Dedicates attention to carbon monoxide issue
- Presents recommendations for prevention and detection
- (888) 227-1770 or [email protected] (“Protecting children from carbon monoxide poisoning,” n.d.)
NOTE: American Academy of Pediatricians is concerned with all factors that impact the health of infants and children. In addition, this organization helps develop public policies and educates medical personnel on the existing problems. The recommendations provided by this establishment can be used by caregivers to minimize the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and by pediatricians to efficiently diagnose and treat this condition to ensure no permanent damage is present.
Safe Kids Worldwide
- Provides recommendations for caregivers
- Assesses important factors of environmental health
- Has recommendations regarding carbon monoxide
- Operates across the US and worldwide
- Contact phone: 202-662-0600 (“Carbon monoxide safety tips,” n.d.)
NOTE: Safe Kids operates globally and offers advice on how to manage and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in infants.
Carbon monoxide safety tips. (n.d.).
Macnow, T., & Waltzman, M. (2016). Carbon monoxide poisoning in children: Diagnosis and management in the emergency department. Pediatric Emergency Medicine Practice, 13(9), 1-24.
Levy, R. (2015). Carbon monoxide pollution and neurodevelopment: A public health concern. Neurotoxicology and Teratology, 49, 31-40. Web.
Unsal, S. R., Taşar, M., Bostancı, I., Şimşek, Y., & Bilge D. Y. (2015). Characteristics of children with acute carbon monoxide poisoning in Ankara: A single centre experience. Journal of Korean Medical Science, 30(12), 1836. Web.