On behalf of Smiley & Smiley, LLP posted in Personal Injury on Sunday, February 24, 2013.
The Northeast was hit by an intense blizzard earlier this month. An unacceptable number of preventable deaths was caused by this blizzard. Though this winter season is winding down, it is never too early to learn how to prevent deaths and catastrophic injuries from causes related to winter weather next year.
Surprisingly, most of the deaths and injuries related to the latest mega-blizzard did not result from exposure to the elements. Rather, they were caused by weather-related fires, motor vehicle accidents, carbon monoxide poisoning, falls and other preventable accidents. These deaths and injuries would be tragic even if they could not have been prevented, but most of them could have been.
For example, several people died of carbon monoxide poisoning, including a young boy in Boston, due to cars running while stalled or stuck in the snow. Children are particularly vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning due to the ways in which their bodies metabolize the toxin. When cars are stuck in snow and their exhaust pipes are blocked, children can become poisoned in as little as 10 minutes time.
As a result, parents should avoid leaving their children in running cars for long periods of time. Instead, wrap kids up in blankets you should stow in your trunk if you are concerned that they will become too cold while you are digging out your car or waiting for help to arrive.
Now is the time to educate yourself and your loved ones about blizzard-related safety. Over the next several months, you can gather and stock supplies accordingly and better ensure that you and your family are not the victims of preventable death or injury when the next big one hits.
Source: USA Today, "Blizzard deaths did not need to happen, doctors say," Liz Szabo, Feb. 10, 2013
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