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Home Vacation How to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning while on vacation – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

How to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning while on vacation – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

by Staff

When making vacation plans, most travelers include a safety plan to protect themselves against things like being stranded or getting mugged.

Very few travelers consider the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning in their hotel or Airbnb, but just in the past year, carbon monoxide leaks at six U.S. hotels killed two and injured at least 35.

Here’s an easy way to protect you and your loved ones from this hidden danger while traveling.

The past 20 years have seen more than a thousand injuries from carbon monoxide leaks in U.S. hotels, with 32 people, including seven children, dying – that’s according to the nonprofit Jenkins Foundation, which tracks carbon monoxide incidents at hotels.

While smoke alarms are normally required in every hotel room by law, there is no such law for carbon monoxide detectors, nor are they required by Airbnb, which has seen 10 carbon monoxide deaths in Chile and Mexico in the past five years.

What makes the gas so dangerous is that it’s odorless and colorless.

The most common causes of carbon monoxide poisoning in hotels are boilers and heaters used to warm swimming pools and water for an entire wing, according to Lindell K. Weaver, MD who specializes in carbon monoxide poisoning at Intermountain Health.

Dr. Weaver explains, “Carbon monoxide can go through drywall very easily. It can move through crevices and little holes. So, indeed, people often have been poisoned, sometimes quite a distance, remote, from the poisoning or carbon monoxide source.”

Dr. Weaver encourages travelers to buy a portable carbon monoxide alarm. They cost anywhere from $30 to $100, they’re small, and they don’t take up much room in your luggage. Packing at least one will protect you and your loved ones from the dangers of this deadly gas.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can often mimic other illnesses and oftentimes, travelers will write off the symptoms as travel-induced stress or food poisoning. It’s crucial to seek medical treatment as soon as you start feeling sick, and if you’re staying at a hotel or resort, there may be a nurse or medical professional on staff who can assess your condition.

Contributors to this news report include: Jessica Sanchez, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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