Harlingen, Texas (KVEO) — A woman and an 8-year-old girl are dead due to carbon monoxide poisoning after leaving the car running in the garage to generate heat, Houston police said.
According to a tweet by the Houston Police Department, officers responded to a welfare check in southwest Houston.
Upon entry, police found two adults and two children affected by carbon monoxide poisoning.
The woman and the 8-year-old girl did not survive.
The man and a 7-year-old boy were transported to the hospital for treatment.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that is emitted by running vehicles and can quickly cause disorientation, sudden illness, or even death. Often called the “silent or invisible killer,” the deadly gas often goes undetected, striking victims who are caught off guard or succumb in their sleep.
Early signs of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath and nausea.
Vehicle-related CO tragedies occur when vehicles are left running inside the garage of a home or if the tailpipe becomes clogged by snow, ice, or debris.
KidsAndCars.org safety tips to protect families from CO poisoning:
- The No. 1 safety tip is to ensure that you have working carbon monoxide detectors in all areas of the home, especially near sleeping areas. Change batteries twice a year and replace detectors every 6-10 years.
- Never warm up a vehicle in an enclosed space. Never leave a vehicle running in the garage, not even with the garage door open.
- Do not put children or adults inside a running vehicle while clearing snow or ice off the vehicle.
- Keyless-ignition vehicles should always be double-checked to ensure the vehicle has been turned off. Even if you take the key fob with you, the vehicle could keep running.
- Always clear the tailpipe of a vehicle in inclement weather conditions. If the tailpipe becomes clogged with ice, snow, or other debris, carbon monoxide can leak into the passenger compartment.
What to do if carbon monoxide alarms sound in the home:
- Immediately move all household members outside to fresh air – including pets.
- Call 911.
- Do not reenter the home until authorities have given you permission to do so.