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Child Narrowly Escapes CO Poisoning

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Child Narrowly Escapes CO Poisoning

Snow-covered car.

A snow-covered car in Reykjavík yesterday. Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

“Today, Lovísa could easily have died,” posted an Icelandic mother on Facebook yesterday, as a warning to other parents. The heavy snowfall in Reykjavík on Sunday morning buried parked cars under a blanket, 51 cm (20 in) thick. The woman’s husband was getting the car and the kids ready to pick her up from work.

“He put Lovísa in the car seat and started the car while our boy was outside with him, shoveling and clearing the way for the car. Lovísa starts crying and my husband hurries up and then looks at Lovísa. She sits perfectly still in the car seat, with her eyes closed, so he believes she’s fallen asleep.

When he opens the car door to let the boy into the car, exhaust fumes meet him.

Snow had blocked the exhaust pipe, so the fumes all went into the car. He hurries to Lovísa, whose face was gray and pale, takes her out of the car seat and blows in her face until she comes to.

She’s fine, but please beware of this!”

“This can be very dangerous,” the mother told RÚV. She encourages other parents never to leave their children in a car that’s running, even if it’s only for a very short time.

Carbon monoxide was carried into the car since the exhaust pipe was apparently blocked. Breathing in carbon monoxide can cause people to pass out or even die.

The heavy snowfall has brought about other hazards, of which the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police Department has warned. Police ask house and business owners to remove icicles and overhangs on roofs, which can easily cause accidents. This is especially important on busy streets, such as in downtown Reykjavík.

Continued cold temperatures are forecast into next week, all over the country.

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