Watch for Carbon Monoxide Danger When Camping | Outdoor Channel
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Watch for Carbon Monoxide Danger When Camping

By: Chuck Myers, McClatchy-Tribune

(MCT) - Portable camping heaters, lanterns and stoves are convenient while sleeping in the great outdoors. But when used inside a tent, camper or a vehicle, these heating and lighting devices can pose a danger from odorless and colorless carbon monoxide gas.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offers the following guidelines to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning when camping:

  • Never use portable heaters or lanterns while sleeping in enclosed areas such as tents and campers. The problem can be even more dangerous at high altitudes, where the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is increased.
  • Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and confusion. Carbon monoxide reduces the blood's ability to carry oxygen. Low blood oxygen levels can result in loss of consciousness and death.
  • See a doctor if you or a member of your family develops cold or flu-like symptoms while camping. Carbon monoxide poisoning, which can easily be mistaken for a cold or flu.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption and drug use, which increase the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Carbon monoxide is especially toxic to mother and child during pregnancy, infants, the elderly, smokers and people with blood or circulatory system problems, such as anemia, or heart disease.

(Source: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)

© 2008, McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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