A crying baby is credited with saving her family from carbon monoxide poisoning.
When you’re in a deep slumber and you hear your baby start to cry, it usually elicits a small groan of annoyance and a fleeting thought about winning the lottery so you can hire a night nurse. In this case, though, a baby’s middle-of-the-night crying actually saved the lives of her entirely family.
Canadian mom Monique Ruppel posted on Facebook this week that her baby, Celia, usually wakes up one time per night, but woke up a second time last Friday, crying inconsolably. “I attempted to make my way to her room but only made it a few feet before being completely overwhelmed with vertigo,” she writes. “Kyle [her husband] immediately woke and we quickly realized something was wrong.”
Kyle and Monique both had nausea, vertigo, and their eyes were burning. They packed a bag and fetched Celia from her crib. As soon as they did, she began vomiting and they saw their cat collapse. Kyle had already called his parents, so they arrived and called 911 and the entire family was taken to the hospital and treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. Rupple says the family was airlifted to Vancouver for treatment and “underwent 3, 2.5 hour dives in a Hyperbaric Chamber,” but are expected to be okay.
She finishes her post with a plea: “Please ensure you have a Carbon Monoxide detector and that it works,” she writes. “We are so thankful Celia woke us. We often wished she would sleep through the night but we do not feel that way any more. Our sweet sweet baby saved us all.”
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a scary threat, especially during the winter months. Malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters and room heaters can cause the odorless gas to leak into homes, poisoning people without them even realizing it. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, about 170 people in the U.S. die each year from non-automotive related carbon monoxide poisoning.
The best way to protect yourself and your family is to purchase a carbon monoxide detector, which retail for about $30-60 on average. Once you’ve got one, it should be tested monthly and the batteries should be replaced about once every six months. If you start experiencing symptoms like headaches, dizziness, nausea, and weakness, that improve when you leave your house, it’s a sign that you may have a problem and need to get your home checked.
What happened to the Ruppels is incredibly scary, and it’s truly a miracle that their baby was able to wake everyone up in time to get treated. Not everyone gets so lucky. Carbon monoxide detectors are unfortunately not required in every living space, so if you have fuel-burning appliances, it’s essential to buy one. It’s a small purchase that could truly end up saving your life.