More Than 20 Children Hospitalized After Poisoning
(TargetLiberty.org) – Daycare centers are supposed to be safe places parents can take their children while they are working during the day. These facilities are inspected by officials to ensure there aren’t hazards that can hurt kids while they are in the daycare’s custody. Unfortunately, sometimes an unexpected problem can put the children in danger. That’s what happened in Pennsylvania recently, and nearly 30 kids were rushed to the hospital.
On Tuesday, October 11, Happy Smiles Learning Center in Allentown was evacuated. There were 27 kids and eight adults in the building. According to a statement from the City of Allentown, 28 of them were rushed to area hospitals. The incident was a level one mass casualty incident because there were so many patients. First responders from surrounding areas responded to the scene to help Allentown authorities.
The fire department evacuation began after firefighters entered the facility to treat a child who fell unconscious. Their equipment reportedly began beeping, alerting them to carbon monoxide (CO) in the air. When they tested it with a meter, they found there were very high levels in the building, making it dangerous for anyone to be inside.
The Washington Post reported Andrew Miller, the Lehigh Valley Health Network chief of pediatric emergency medicine, said the patients had 3 to 10 times the normal amount of carbon monoxide in their bloodstreams. All of the patients are currently in stable condition.
The statement from the city revealed the daycare had passed inspection as recently as July 2022. An ordinance was recently passed requiring all facilities to have carbon monoxide detectors by October 27. Though the deadline was less than two weeks away, Happy Smiles had still not installed those safety measures.
Happy Smiles owner Jesenia Gautreaux reportedly said that the facility was installing the detectors soon. Because of the dangerous circumstances, the facility’s license has been suspended.
The leak is thought to have been caused by a faulty heating unit, as well as a blocked venting system.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
As the country moves into the winter months and temperatures get colder, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning increases. Every year, the CDC reports about 400 people die in the US from the gas. It is especially dangerous because it is odorless and colorless, meaning the only way to detect it is by investing in a detection system.
Carbon monoxide is produced by a number of everyday machines, including cars, stoves, furnaces, grills, and other things. The most common symptoms of poisoning are headache, weakness, nausea, chest pain, confusion, puking, and dizziness.
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