Mum and child die inside the car as dad shovels snow outside

Mum and child die inside the car as dad shovels snow outside

They died of carbon monoxide poisoning, and now the police warns everyone to be wary of this "silent killer"

The weather situation in the western parts of the world doesn’t seem to be improving, with snow storms beating down hard on them, and this news all the way from New Jersey will make you appreciate the fact that it doesn’t snow in our part of Asia.

A family of five was just preparing to go outside when a simple winter task of clearing the path of snow turned deadly. While the father shovelled snow outside, his wife and two young children got into the car and turned on the engine.

No one realised that the tailpipe was clogged shut with snow, pushing the deadly carbon monoxide gas into the car.

The silent killer

In minutes, the mother and one-year-old child died. The three-year-old remains in critical condition, with her chance of survival low.

Carbon monoxide, often called the “silent killer” because it is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and extremely toxic. It causes people to lose consciousness within minutes.

After this tragic incident, municipalities in and around New Jersey as well as local police have warned the public:

“Remove snow from car exhaust pipe before sitting in car and letting it warm up. Failure to remove snow can result in carbon monoxide poisoning. Be sure there is ample room for air to circulate in front and behind your car to allow any exhaust to dissipate and not build up around your car.”

Car safety tips

We may not be experiencing snow, but there are some really great takeaways from this story on how we can make the car a safer space for our children.

Here are some general tips to keep our children safe in and around cars:

  • Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.
  • Put something you'll need, such as your cell phone, handbag, employee ID or brief case, on the floor board in the back seat.
  • Get in the habit of always opening the back door of your vehicle every time you reach your destination to make sure no child has been left behind.
  • When a child is missing, check vehicles and car trunks immediately.
  • If a child is locked inside a vehicle, get them out as quickly as possible. If they are hot or appear sick, call 999 or your local emergency number.


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Written by

James Martinez

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